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Innovative New Chemical Vapor Enhancement Process to Recover ‘Impossible’ Fingerprints from Metallic Items
Dstl loughborough CAST FFLogo-CMYK-Outlines
Patent Application Nos. GB1804040.2 and PCT/GB2018/000040 licensed from the Secretary of State for Defence

Jointly developed by foster+freeman, the MoD Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST), and Loughborough University, RECOVER:LFT is a cutting-edge technique that uses an innovative chemical fuming process to develop fingerprints on a range of difficult surfaces including those that have been exposed to extreme heat (discharged bullet casings for example) and items that have been washed ‘clean’ in an attempt to prevent identification.



This discovery gives us the ability to recover fingerprints from items that would have been previously difficult or impossible. It has shown particularly good results when used on fired ammunition cases, knives and contaminated metallic items.



Currently, in the final stages of refinement, a RECOVER:LFT development chamber will be introduced to the market in the summer of 2018 when it is expected to be of immediate interest to police and forensic examiners worldwide.



Video Courtesy of Dstl  





RECOVER Impossible Fingerprints

Marking a significant step forward in fingerprint detection and visualization, RECOVER:LFT will enable forensic experts to recover fingermarks from substrates that were previously extremely challenging or impossible to work with.

The cutting-edge technology uses an innovative chemical to develop the fingerprint via a unique chemical reaction that takes place within a specialized evidence fuming chamber being developed by foster+freeman.


Collaborative Innovation

Discovered at Loughborough University by Drs. Paul Kelly and Roberto King, developed with backing and support from Dstl and the Home Office, and refined by foster+freeman, RECOVER:LFT represents a fantastic example of collaborative working to achieve innovation that will help the police and security services to identify criminals and link them to their crimes.


Stay Informed

The RECOVER:LFT Development Chamber and the unique precursor chemical will be available worldwide in 2018. If you would like to receive updates on the progress of RECOVER:LFT please contact info @ 



Fingerprint Infographic





Cleaning fingerprints

Recover Fingermarks
from surfaces that have been wiped clean


Fingermarks are placed on a brass plate. The plate is wiped clean after several minutes and then processed using the RECOVER:LFT technique.

Following treatment, the prints are clearly visible with high contrast and excellent 3rd level ridge detail.

Click on the thumbnails below to view full-sized images:

Brass before LFT Brass following LFT





RECOVER Fingermarks
from fired bullet and cartridge casings


Prints are placed on a cartridge casing before firing. After being discharged, the casing is processed using the RECOVER:LFT technique.

Following RECOVER:LFT treatment, the prints are imaged using the foster+freeman CSU Cylindrical Surface Unwrapper and DCS 5 Digital Capture System.


Click on the thumbnails below to view full-sized images:

lft treated bullet unwrapped under white light CSU unwrapped
Casing treated with RECOVER:LFT 'Unwrapped' Image  Enhanced image





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