1. Optical and spectroscopic tools for evaluating Er:YAG laser removal of shellac varnish

    Optical and spectroscopic tools for evaluating Er:YAG laser removal of shellac varnish

    We report on tests to remove naturally and artificially aged shellac varnish by laser and traditional chemical cleaning from the substrates of mural paintings. Optical tools were used for the evaluation of cleaning processes, in particular laser microprofilometry to assess the changes in the surface morphology and time-domain confocal optical coherence tomography (OCT) to evaluate varnish thickness. The cleaning assessment was integrated with molecular characterization provided by portable Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy operating in reflectance mode, and colorimetric measurements. This complete analytical approach led to optimized laser-based cleaning tests at 1.9 and 2.6 J/cm 2 in the ...

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