Laser removal of water repellent treatments on limestone

Miguel Gómez-Heras, Mónica Alvarez de Buergo, Esther Rebollar, Mohamed Oujja, Marta Castillejo, Rafael Fort

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17 Scopus citations


Protective and water repellent treatments are applied on stone materials used on buildings or sculptures of artistic value to reduce water intrusion without limiting the natural permeability to water vapour of the material. The effect of the wavelength associated with the laser removal of two water repellent treatments applied on limestone, Paraloid B-72, a copolymer of methyl acrylate and ethyl methacrylate, and Tegosivin HL-100, a modified polysiloxane resin, was investigated by using the four harmonics of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (1064, 532, 355 and 266 nm). The modifications induced on the surface of limestone samples by laser irradiation were studied using colorimetry, roughness measurements and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The removal of the treatments was found to be dependent on the laser irradiation conditions and on the characteristics of the coatings. The fundamental laser radiation was effective in removing both treatments, but thermal alteration processes were induced on the constituent calcite crystals. The best results were obtained by irradiation in the near UV at 355 nm. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)290-299
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes

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