University of Vigo

Diagnosis and cleaning using laser technology for the restoration of historical monuments

Posted by University of VigoResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

Since ancient times granite has been used in historic buildings. Some restorers used to apply molten beeswax on their granite surfaces to stop imminent deterioration of the monuments. At first, this treatment was a good solution to consolidate the stone, but with time it resulted counterproductive. This method allows removal and cleaning of wax and other contaminants from porous stones in historical monuments and artworks using nondestructive means through laser technology.

New and innovative aspects

The cleaning of artworks often involves the removal of dirt from damaged surfaces or fragile substrates. The traditional cleaning techniques such as water, chemical and mechanical cleaning can result in permanent damage. This is a non-contact, selective, and environmental friendly cleaning technique. This method, using laser technology, allows deep cleaning without causing any damage to the artwork or monument.

Main advantages of its use

This method, based on laser technology, is characterized by its selectivity, non-destructive and environmental friendly process. It allows cleaining of waxes, resins, oils, synthetic adhesives and other contaminants in porous stone of historical monuments and other artworks.


- Identifying contaminated regions on the porous stone. - Characterizing the contaminant. - Exposing the contaminant on the porous stone monument to irradiation from a laser characterized by a wavelength, pulse length, repetition rate, and energy determined and optimized for a given contaminant porous stone system. - Evaluating the cleaning results by quantifying in-situ the thickness of the remaining contaminant.


The proposed technology is referred to lies in cleaning of monuments and restoration of artworks. Potential clients are companies of conservation and restoration of historic-artistic heritage, cleaning companies and Public Administration managing historical-cultural heritage.

Intellectual property status

Spanish and US patent

Current development status

Testing results available

Desired business relationship

License agreement

Related keywords

  • Construction Technology
  • Management of construction process & life
  • Construction maintenance and monitoring methods & equipment
  • Construction methods and equipment
  • Clean Industrial Technologies
  • Cleaning Technology
  • Apparatus Engineering
  • Laser Related
  • Construction and Building Products
  • Engineering and consulting services related to construction
  • laser
  • stone
  • cleaning
  • granite
  • artwork
  • monument

About University of Vigo

Technology Transfer Office from Spain

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