What Does Law Enforcement Use Super Glue Or Cyanoacrylate For?
- Marvin Harvey
Abstract – Cyanoacrylate, also called super glue, fuming is a chemical method for the detection of latent fingermarks on non-porous surfaces such as glass, plastic etc. The method relies on the deposition of polymerized cyanoacrylate ester on residues of latent fingermarks.
The method develops clear, stable, white colored fingerprints. However, several post-treatement procedures can be used to improve the contrast of developed prints. In addition to it, some pre-treatment procedures can also be used to develop aged latent fingermarks. It is an efficient, non-destrcutive and excellent procedure for developing latent fingermarks.
Keywords: Fingermarks, Latent impressions, Cyanoacrylate fuming, Super glue, Non-porous item
How is cyanoacrylate used in fingerprinting?
Fingerprint Fuming – Science World In this experiment using superglue, students will explore a simple fuming technique used by forensic scientists to reveal invisible fingerprints. Fingerprints are what we call the pattern of ridges on the fingers that provide a rough surface that helps create the friction needed to pick up a baseball or hold onto a pencil; they are also know as “friction ridges”.
- These ridges are formed before birth.
- By the time a baby is born, there are seven layers of skin, and fingerprint ridges ripple through the top five layers.
- Baring loss of a finger tip to injury, or intensive scarring, the friction ridge pattern of individuals will constantly re-grow the same as their skin re-news throughout their lives.
E very fingerprint is unique, but there are certain patterns that can be observed which many prints have in common. Interestingly, even fingerprints from the same individual can vary slightly from finger to finger! Fingerprints have three main classes of friction ridge: the arch, whorl and loop.
Arches have lines that start on one side and rise and exit on the other side of the print. They look like a hill. Loops have lines that enter and exit on the same side of the print. They look like an upside-down U. Whorls have circles that spiral and do not exit on either side of the print. They look like a bull’s eye.
Fingerprints leave behind traces of sweat and oils on surfaces that are not always visible or recoverable by dusting powder. In these cases, a “fuming” technique is used. This technique was developed in Japan in 1977, where Fuseo Matsumura, a hair and fibre expert at the Saga Prefecture Crime Laboratory of the National Police Agency used microscope slides to examine trace evidence that he mounted using superglue.
One day, while working on a case, he noticed a fingerprint developing along the side of the glass slide. He presented his finding to a colleague, Masato Soba, who eventually developed superglue fuming. Cyanoacrylate is a substance in superglue that, when heated, releases into the air as a gas. This gas is attracted to the sweat and oils excreted from fingers and crystallizes to leave behind a white residue that reveals the fingerprint.
This processed print can then be lifted and analyzed. Teacher tip: Use superglue in a well-ventilated area. Superglue can bond skin and eyes in seconds, so be sure to review the safety directions provided on the packaging before starting this activity.
What is cyanoacrylate glue used for?
Cyanoacrylate glue is the industrial name for what is commonly known as “Crazy Glue” or “Super Glue”. In fact, the term cyanoacrylate glue generally describes quick-bonding super glues. They can be used to combine anything from metal to plastic and even human skin.
How does cyanoacrylate work forensics?
Ridge detail on nonporous surfaces, either latent or visible, can be exposed to cyanoacrylate (Superglue) fumes. These fumes will adhere to the moisture deposited by friction ridge skin and turn the ridges white. The reaction also stabilizes the ridge detail to better preserve for possible future enhancement (through use of fingerprint powder at the scene or by use of dye stains back at the Lab) and collection at a scene or in the Laboratory.
What does the cyanoacrylate react with in fingerprints?
Super glue reacts with the traces of amino acids, fatty acids, and proteins in the latent fingerprint and the moisture in the air to produce a visible, sticky white material that forms along the ridges of the fingerprint.