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Using a laser to clean art?

Do you know?

Laser cleaning machine can clean the surfaces of cultural relics of different materials such as stone (marble, jade), metal (bronze, iron, etc.), oil painting, ceramics, sheepskin, paper, ivory, silk textiles, wood, etc., and ensure no residue and damage. In addition to metal rust removal, it is also used to remove ink from paper, ceramics to remove stone deposition films, and stone cultural relics to remove grease and deposition films.

In the world cultural relics, laser cleaning technology has been applied to Xia, Shang and Zhou bronzes, ancient Greek statues, ancient sheepskin scrolls in BC, medieval art paintings, modern Ming and Qing furniture celadon and shipwrecks on the Maritime Silk Road. (Silver ingots and copper coins, gun barrels, docks, porcelain fragments) and other protection scenes, it not only allows the treasures of Chinese culture to reveal and protect their original beauty, but also saves a large number of Western art paintings and ancient scrolls.

  1. Heaven’s Gate

The Gate of Paradise is the east gate of the Baptistery in Florence, in front of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Created between 1425 and 1452 by the goldsmith and sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, it represents his masterpiece and is one of the most famous works of the Florentine Renaissance. Made of fully gilded bronze, the door was nicknamed the “Gate of Heaven” by Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Prior to remediation, the gold surface was characterized by a microbubble distribution due to the crystallization of soluble salts under the gold film. The cleaning problem was initially solved by an optimized chemical method applied to the individual panels after dismantling from the bronze frame. However, the dismantling of the fascia elements seemed too risky: the laser avoided any flank and ill effects on the gold plating that remained in each area, while allowing the complete removal of surface encrustations, allowing the gold’s brilliance to regenerate.

2. World Heritage Site Patan Palace

The palace was built in the 17th century by Siddhinarasimha Malla, king of Nepal’s Mala dynasty. Restoration work involved removing treatments used in past conservation attempts that were deteriorating the sculpted surface. In the preliminary stages, some scientific investigations were carried out to petrologically characterize the red stones of the north and south gateways and to analyze the thick black layer covering them, which turned out to be the deliberate spread of asphalt as conservatives over the past few decades. of. In previous interventions, the use of solvents (acetone and white wine) followed by a mechanical scalpel operation only partially removed this thick black layer. Due to the fragility of the stone and the consequent loss of material, and due to reasons related to Nepal’s humid climate, some cleaning tests have been carried out, but the use of sandblasters has been abandoned due to reasons related to Nepal’s humid climate, These reasons can affect the sand flow of the nozzle. Lasers are proven to be the most effective cleaning system for removing bitumen from door stones. Using two different laser systems, with different pulse durations and powers, the thick black layer can be completely removed without affecting the original surface.

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