The method comprises the steps of directing the beam of a portable laser device (40) onto grout (14) at a power level to cause removal of the grout; causing mutual relative movement between said laser beam and said grout; and, providing removal means (30, 32) for debris resulting from said grout removal. The laser beam (16) is transmitted to the grout (14) via optical fibre. The laser is selected from the group comprising: Nd-YAG laser; semi-conductor laser; and, diode pumped fibre laser, and may also include a low-power visible aiming laser. An area of grout being treated is surrounded by an enclosure (22) to prevent escape of laser light. The enclosure is transparent to optical light and opaque to laser light of the wavelength, e.g. 0.4 to 10.6 mu m, in use. The laser beam spot (18) size being commensurate with the grout width. Debris removal means, possibly assisted with a gas jet (42), comprises suction removal (44) at a position adjacent the grout laser treatment area. The method may include the step of applying additional water to the grout.
|IPC||B28D 1/ 22|
|Publication status||Published - 24 Dec 1997|