A Comparative Analysis of Casting Materials on Developed Latent Prints




Brock, Jenny F.

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The drive to preserve and collect latent prints has led to the creation of innovative products and technologies. However, because of the increasing variety of the implements, supplementary research was necessary to ensure appropriate application of these products dependent on circumstances, environments, and availability. Further, crime scene technicians and departments, who rely on experience and accessibility of materials, also need current information on product capabilities and limitations. This research compared AccuTrans, First Contact polymer solution, and Elmer’s glue as casting materials applied to latent prints developed with dual-use black powder. The latent prints samples (n=60) were deposited on either flat or curved substrates, and then preserved with one of the three casting materials. Evaluation of the collected latent prints included: whether friction ridge detail was present, how many individual characteristics could be observed with a restriction of 10, and how many levels of friction ridge detail were represented. The results of this study indicated that no matter which casting material was selected, there was no significant variation in the ability of the materials to perform (p=.794) and successfully collect a developed latent print for examination on certain substrates (p=.462). Individually the casting materials had observable strengths and weaknesses such as short or extended dry times, deformation after collection, and ease of collection.



Latent Prints, Forensic science


Brock, Jenny F. (2020) A Comparative Analysis of Casting Materials on Developed Latent Prints