Volume 48, Issue 6 (November 2003)
Enhancing Contrast of Fingerprints on Plastic Tape
Many of the currently available fingerprinting methods have limited ability to visualize fingerprints on plastic tape without expensive equipment or significant handling of the sample. This is especially true for visualizing fingerprints on black electrical tape. This study sought a hands-off method to produce easy visualization of fingerprints on different types of plastic tape, including black electrical tape, without the need for expensive equipment. The methods selected were to sublime disperse dyes into the tape, both with and without the fuming of cyanoacrylate, everywhere except for where the fingerprint was applied. The resulting color contrasts provided enough differentiation to visualize fingerprints on plastic tape under ambient light. Sequential fuming with cyanoacrylate followed by disperse dyes provided the best visualizations on all tapes, and cyanoacrylate followed by disperse yellow 211 clearly visualized fingerprints on black electrical tape.