Laser cleaning technology has been used for various products — from metals like steel and aluminum to non-metals like stone and other historic restoration projects. But, laser ablation isn’t a suitable method for every scenario where cleaning is needed.
One area that has become a learning curve are non-metal historical objects. Our laser solutions have been used to clean everything from the pyramids to the top of the Lincoln memorial, but what about petroglyphs? Can our laser cleaning provide the gentle clean needed to preserve these ancient carvings?
WHAT ARE PETROGLYPHS?
Petroglyphs are the carvings or engravings on rock — typically associated with prehistoric caveman drawings. They can be incisions, pickings, carvings, or abrasions. As time progresses, oxides and molds can deteriorate the carvings and smooth out the stone in which they’re carved. This makes the petroglyphs more difficult to decipher and erases the historical impact of the carvings.
HOW DOES LASER CLEANING WORK?
Laser cleaning uses thousands of laser pulses per second to absorb into and remove contaminants — including contaminant oxides, bacteria, and mold-release agents. While laser cleaning can’t reverse the effects of corrosion, it can stop further damage and preserve history. This is the same process that is used for historic restoration. But, the effectiveness of the cleaning is dependent on various factors, including:
- The type of stone needing cleaned
- The contaminants impacting the petroglyphs
- The laser solution developed for the project
CAN LASER CLEANING BE USED FOR PETROGLYPHS?
With the right solution, laser cleaning can remove oxides from petroglyphs without impacting the carving. Our low-powered laser solutions are effective but gentle, making them the ideal solution for most historic restoration projects. But, the best way to determine if our laser solutions are the best option for your project is by testing a sample of the stone in our on-site lab. This will help us determine the proper settings for your laser cleaning solution. During our sales process, we can also consider all environmental and operational factors that may impact your cleaning experience.
BENEFITS OF LASER CLEANING
Our laser cleaning solutions provide a thorough clean without damaging the substrate. This makes it the ideal cleaning method for historic restoration and conservation projects. In addition to the effectiveness of laser cleaning, you can also expect:
- No additional cleanup
- No additional waste
- Safer working conditions — only need safety glasses and a designated optical hazard zone
- Lower maintenance costs
We’ve worked with companies like RJW-Gem Campbell Stonemasons Inc and CSI/Evergreene to conserve and restore hundreds of historical items. While laser solutions are optimal for most historical conservation and restoration projects — especially when pertaining to stone — it does have its limitations. That’s why we work with you every step of the sales process to ensure you get a laser solution that will work for your needs. Contact our team to see if we can clean your petroglyphs.
WHATEVER YOUR NEEDS, ADAPT LASER HAS A SOLUTION FOR IT
Adapt Laser specializes in the know-how and application of laser cleaning solutions. We offer products with a range between 20 and 2,000 watts and provide training to ensure your employees can get the most from their laser cleaning solutions. We’ve equipped a variety of industries and companies with laser cleaning solutions — including military and defense for the US Air Force and Navy — and hundreds of organizations trust our state-of-the-art laser cleaning solutions.