The research was concerned with the implementation of laser cleaning on stonework. Much
research work has been carried out in the past to understand and explain the laser
interaction with the stone. It has been shown that the Nd:YAG laser (at 1.064/μm) acts as a
self-limiting tool for the removal of the black encrustation on stonework. The main
objective of this research was a more thorough understanding of the various cleaning
mechanisms. In order to evaluate the advantages of laser cleaning some training on the
conventional methods of conservation (air-abrasive, steam cleaning etc.) had been
undertaken in restoration at real sites. The laser cleaning effects on alabaster sculpture were
studied first followed by work on limestone. Surface and chemical analytical techniques
(Scanning Electron Microscopy, Optical Microscopy, X-Ray Diffraction etc.) have been
employed to inspect the stone surfaces before and after the irradiation. [Continues.]
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.
British Federation of Women Graduates. Leventis Foundation.