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Materials 2017, 10(2), 107; doi:10.3390/ma10020107

Obtaining Cross-Sections of Paint Layers in Cultural Artifacts Using Femtosecond Pulsed Lasers

1
Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, 1919-1 Tancha, Onna-son, Kunigami, Okinawa 904-0495, Japan
2
Art Conservation Program, Science and Technology Group, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, 1919-1 Tancha, Onna-son, Kunigami, Okinawa 904-0495, Japan
3
Art Conservation Program, Buffalo State College, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14222, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin Byung-Guk Jun
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 26 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrafast Laser-Based Manufacturing)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2705 KB, uploaded 26 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

Recently, ultrafast lasers exhibiting high peak powers and extremely short pulse durations have created a new paradigm in materials processing. The precision and minimal thermal damage provided by ultrafast lasers in the machining of metals and dielectrics also suggests a novel application in obtaining precise cross-sections of fragile, combustible paint layers in artwork and cultural heritage property. Cross-sections of paint and other decorative layers on artwork provide critical information into its history and authenticity. However, the current methodology which uses a scalpel to obtain a cross-section can cause further damage, including crumbling, delamination, and paint compression. Here, we demonstrate the ability to make controlled cross-sections of paint layers with a femtosecond pulsed laser, with minimal damage to the surrounding artwork. The femtosecond laser cutting overcomes challenges such as fragile paint disintegrating under scalpel pressure, or oxidation by the continuous-wave (CW) laser. Variations in laser power and translational speed of the laser while cutting exhibit different benefits for cross-section sampling. The use of femtosecond lasers in studying artwork also presents new possibilities in analyzing, sampling, and cleaning of artwork with minimal destructive effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrafast laser; art conservation; material processing; CW laser; cross-section analysis ultrafast laser; art conservation; material processing; CW laser; cross-section analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Harada, T.; Spence, S.; Margiolakis, A.; Deckoff-Jones, S.; Ploeger, R.; Shugar, A.N.; Hamm, J.F.; Dani, K.M.; Dani, A.R. Obtaining Cross-Sections of Paint Layers in Cultural Artifacts Using Femtosecond Pulsed Lasers. Materials 2017, 10, 107.

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