Development Fingerprints with Cyanoacrylate Fuming

Cyanoacrylate fuming is used to develop latent prints on nonporous specimens.

Heater, aluminum dish, fuming chamber

Materials and Chemicals
• Cyanoacrylate (premixed)

Standard Processing Procedure
Using the fuming chamber,

  • Place the aluminum dish on a heating surface and turn the heater to the highest setting.
  • When the dish is hot, place enough liquid cyanoacrylate to cover the bottom surface of the dish (approximately 3 g for a small chamber).
  • When the cyanoacrylate begins to fume at a steady pace, place the specimen(s) in the chamber and secure the chamber door.
  • Fume the specimen(s). Fuming time varies depending on the size of the chamber; however, in most instances, fuming times ranging from 30 seconds to 4 minutes are sufficient.
  • After the procedure is complete, remove the specimen(s) from the chamber to
  • view for latent prints. If necessary, the fuming process can be repeated.
  • If a humidified chamber is available, set the humidity between 70 % and 80 % for best results.

Fig. 1. Materials

Fig. 2. Adding the glue on the plastic cover

Improvised method of using cyanoacrylate fuming
Improvised  Processing Procedure


• Cyanoacrylate glue, plastic cover, piece of glass (Fig. 1).


  • Place several drops of liquid cyanoacrylate glue on a plastic cover for a wide plastic box as shown on Fig. 2.
  • Cover the specimen (piece of glass with fingerprint) with the plastic cover (Fig. 3).
  • Wait for 2 min and check the specimen (Fig. 4).

Fig. 3. Experimental setup

Fig. 4. Developed fingerprint

Safety Tips
Be careful when working with the liquid cyanoacrylate glue. Wear glows and do not allow getting in contact with your skin or your clothing. If you are using glass specimen be aware of sharp edges or use a send paper to remove them.