The process of cleaning artwork requires the most selective and non-destructive tools so that minimum impact is made on the pictorial layers during cleaning. Laser technology is one of the techniques utilized by modern restoration laboratories because it is a high-tech solution that can be used with tradition cleaning techniques. Laser technology can be used to clean many different materials: stones, stucco, wall paintings, metal and wood. It guarantees the precise cleaning of objects without any damage to the substrate. Recent laser cleanings have taken place in the restoration of the Santa Rosa Necropolis in order to remove layers of alteration, thus preserving the original pictorial layers.
This instrument can operate on extremely degraded substrates without pre-consolidation, allowing the restorer to work with high precision and control because of the pointing system. It’s small size makes this machine perfect for use in laboratories and inside the Museums themselves. This laser is extremely easy to use, allowing the restorer to choose the operating mode directly from the display screen. The laser’s reliability and precision makes it an essential tool in correctly preserving the timeless treasures within the Vatican Museums, especially because it allows restorers to clean those pieces that cannot be manually cleaned. After attempts with different types of lasers, researchers have developed an absolutely innovative laser device. Eos Syntesis is the first laser system set up for laser cleaning that allows restorers to tune the pulse duration by nanoseconds to hundredths of a nanosecond to microseconds. This laser allows for two different pulses to merge in the same laser beam, creating a brand new and innovative process in restorative cleaning.
The main parameters are:
Short Q-sw (SQS) ≈ 100 mJ ≈10 ns up to 20 Hz
Long Q-sw (LQS) > 150 mJ ≈ 120 ns up to 20 Hz
Short free-running (SFR) up to a 2 J 20-40 μs up to 20 Hz