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The discrimination potential of VSC, TLC and HPLC for ballpoint inks

Author:

K. A. S. Kaluarachchi

Government Analyst’s Department, Battaramulla, LK
About K. A. S.
Forensic Document Section
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Abstract

Introduction: The necessity arises to analyse blue and black ballpoint pen inks frequently encountered in forensic documents.

 

Objective: To evaluate the discrimination potential of Video Spectral Comparator (VSC), Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) methods in analysing blue and black ballpoint pen inks in documents.

 

Methods: A selection of 10 blue and 10 black ballpoint inks were examined by a Video Spectral Comparator (VSC), Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) methods.

 

Results: The discriminating powers for VSC, TLC, and HPLC methods were determined to be 0.73, 0.82, and 0.84 for the blue inks and 0.56, 0.78, and 0.84 for the black inks. The overall discrimination powers of three methods were 0.91 and 0.84 for the black and blue inks, respectively.

 

HPLC method differentiated the highest number of blue and black pairs and its discrimination power is slightly higher than TLC. The VSC showed a significant discrimination power improvement of blue over black inks. Statistical analysis confirmed that the VSC has higher discrimination power to differentiate blue ballpoint inks than black ballpoint inks. None of the techniques discriminated the full range of ink pairs studied.

 

Conclusion: The power of the individual techniques to discriminate between inks varied. The results show that these three techniques are complementary to some extent. A combination of all three techniques provides the greatest discrimination power.
How to Cite: Kaluarachchi, K.A.S., 2021. The discrimination potential of VSC, TLC and HPLC for ballpoint inks. Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law, 12(2), pp.19–23. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljfmsl.v12i2.7873
Published on 03 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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