Table of Contents
Laser Chemistry
Volume 2006, Article ID 84781, 6 pages
Research Article

Observation of the Laser Cleaning Effect on the Gotland Sandstone Elemental Composition

1Photophysics and Laser Technique Department, The Szewalski Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery, Polish Academy of Sciences, Fiszera 14, Gdansk 80-952, Poland
2School of Conservation, Esplanaden 34, Copenhagen K 1263, Denmark

Received 31 August 2006; Revised 23 November 2006; Accepted 24 November 2006

Academic Editor: Costas Fotakis

Copyright © 2006 Marta Jasińska et al. 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.


Changes of the elemental composition due to laser surface cleaning of a naturally crusted historical sandstone were investigated by means of the SEM/EDX technique. Data obtained for stone samples prior to and after laser irradiation were compared with those for noncrusted, reference ones. It has been observed that the crust removal resulting from ablative cleaning was accompanied by a decrease of the partial content of elements Al, S, K, Ca, and Mg in the range of 60–80% of their initial value recorded for the noncleaned, crust-covered stone surface. In the stone layer just under the crust coverage, a structure characterized by intergranular spaces between the SiO2 grains being the main sandstone component filled with degraded binder was observed. From the coincidence of the binder destruction and chemical composition of the crust, the stone surface destruction due to the long-term interaction of environmental pollution was deduced. The spatial distributions of individual elements obtained by mapping after laser irradiation indicated that besides SiO2 the content of elemental components in the sandstone surface layer decreased by 50%, whereas for Fe with the initial content of 4% and other surface remnants: P, Ti, Zn, and Cl—all below 1%, insignificant changes were only revealed. It was concluded in agreement with the literature that surface cleaning by means of the 1064 nm laser does not cause removal of iron from the sandstone surface.