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Combined Temperature and Humidity Control to Tune Latent Fingermark Development by Superglue Fuming

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2019
12 pages
This is the Final Summary Overview of a research project with the goal of improving the superglue-fuming method of developing latent fingermarks by optimizing their acquisition and improving their quality.

The project had three focus areas: 1) the coupling of temperature and humidity to improve the superglue fuming of latent prints; 2) the importance of surface composition on the growth of polymer during superglue fuming of latent prints with controlled temperature and humidity; and 3) the importance of cyanoacrylate formulation on optimizing the fuming of latent prints. The project activities conducted in each of these focus areas are described. The findings related to the first focus area indicate that an ambient relative humidity with surface temperatures near 10 degrees C provided the optimum quality of visual fingerprints fumed with Sirchie ethyl cyanoacrylate. Regarding the second focus area, the examination of the impact of surface composition has posed challenges, since the accurate monitoring of print growth during gumming on polyethylene surfaces became untenable due to the fluctuating mass of the polyethylene itself. In addition, there was little difference between the poly ethyl cyanoacrylate (PECA) formed from prints on glass and polyethylene terephthalate. Regarding the project's third focus area, LumiCyano proved to be a beneficial alternative to commercial cyanoacrylate when the manufacturer's instructions are followed. Overall, the project's results are most promising in impacting policy and practice in providing additional insight into the impact of temperature and humidity on the fuming of latent prints. Fuming chambers with temperature control should be developed. A listing of project presentations and publications

Date Published: April 1, 2019