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Visualization of Latent Fingermark Corrosion of Brass, Climate Influence in a Comparison Between the U.K. and Iraq

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 56 Issue: 2 Dated: March 2011 Pages: 506-509
John W. Bond, D.Phil; Louis N. Eliopulos, B.A.; Thomas F. Brady, M.F.S.
Date Published
March 2011
4 pages
Through a comparison of fingermark sweat corrosion of alpha phase brass in both the U.K. and Iraq, the authors show how samples from Iraq have improved fingermark corrosion over U.K. samples that require no additional enhancement prior to visualization.
Over 50 percent of Iraqi samples produced fingermark corrosion with full ridge detail compared with 0 percent from the U.K. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis of the fingermark corrosion products showed that Iraqi samples exhibit more dezincification with the Zn:Cu ratio averaging 1:1.82 compared with 1:3.07 for U.K. samples. Auger spectroscopy showed the presence of both zinc oxide and copper (I) oxide. No copper (II) was observed on the surface of the corroded brass. Opportunities to exploit the optical properties of these thin film oxides to enhance the visualization of fingermark corrosion are considered, and the potential to use fingermark corrosion of metal as a means of visualizing fingerprints in war zones is discussed. (Published Abstract)