Research Day 2011 – Amanda Wilson – Separation of Adhesive Tapes from Various Surfaces Using Three Different Techniques

Separation of Adhesive Tapes from Various Surfaces Using Three Different Techniques


Amanda Wilson is from Indianapolis, Indiana.  She is a graduate of IUPUI where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.  She is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Forensic Science with emphases in Chemistry and Crime Scene Investigation.  This summer, Amanda did her internship with the Huntington Police Department looking at different methods of separating adhesive tapes from various surfaces and developing latent prints from the adhesive side of the tape. 


This study investigates the use of three techniques to separate adhesive tapes from various surfaces.  The techniques employed were a freezing technique, heating with a steam iron, and the application of Un-du.  A fingerprint was added to the adhesive side of four different types of tapes and then added to either paper, plastic, wood, or another adhesive surface.  After a time period of 1, 2, 4, 6, or 8 weeks the tapes were removed using one of the three techniques.  Latent prints were developed off the adhesive side of the tape using either Wet Wop or Sticky Side Powder.  All three techniques were effective in separating tape from paper and wood surfaces at all time periods.  However, none of the techniques used were able to separate tape from plastic and adhesive surfaces. 


 Separation of Adhesive Tapes from Various Surfaces Using Three Different Techniques


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  2. Molina, D. The Use of Un-du to Separate Adhesive Materials. J. For. Ident. 2006, 57 (5), 688-696.
  3. Stimac, J. T. Adhesive Tape Separation with Un-du. 2000, 1-5.
  4. Cramer, D.; Glass, K. Developing Latent Fingerprints on the Adhesive Side of Tape using a Freezing                         Technique. J. For. Ident. 2008, 58 (4), 419-423.
  5. Perez-Avila, J. Latent Print Development under a Self-Adhesive Stamp. J. For. Ident. 2008, 58 (4), 429-  431.
  6. Trozzi, T. A.; Schwartz, R. L.; Hollars, M. L. Processing Guide for Developing Latent Prints. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Laboratory division, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington D.C., 2001, 12-13.
  7. Un-du® Adhesive Remover, Material Safety Data sheet, doumar Products, Inc., 1998.