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    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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    2. The application of macro-X-ray fluorescence and optical coherence tomography for examination of parchment manuscripts

      The application of macro-X-ray fluorescence and optical coherence tomography for examination of parchment manuscripts

      Macro-X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a newly commercially available research tool very useful in the examination of artwork. Its novelty lies in its ability to create maps of the distribution of chemical elements on scales of a few milimetres. In this contribution, its use together with optical coherence tomography (OCT) in the inspection of an illuminated manuscript is reported for the first time. The former technique is used both for mapping the elemental distribution over large parts of the folios – including illuminated initials – and for quantitative analysis of the composition of the smalt pigment, as well as of changes in the ...

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