Restoration of stamp marks on steel components

Graham Wightman, Jennifer Matthew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
963 Downloads (Pure)


Stamp marks are used as a unique identification for a range of items, but these can be erased for criminal activities. Erased marks can sometimes be recovered by etching or magnetic means. The present study looked at the application of Fry's reagent to recover erased marks from steel. The investigation also demonstrated that Fry's reagent can deteriorate on storing and will require a longer etching time. The effect of different applied forces of stamping was investigated, and the depth of the underlying deformation was determined by etching after varying degrees of metal removal. The amount of metal needing to be removed depends on the force applied to the die. Metal removal also affects the time needed for recovery. The underlying structural change remains as a hidden identification mark, and could potentially be used by manufacturers as an unseen identifier. A model for the underlying deformation is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-36
Number of pages5
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


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