Determination of Relative Age of Inkjet and Laser Printouts by CIE L*a*b* Color Space

Dr. Kapil Kumar, Dr. Shobhana Menon


Questioned documents are sometimes made to look old in order to make them appear genuine and age of a document should be promptly investigated in every possible manner. In this paper, a reliable, simple and effective method for determination of relative age of inkjet and laser printouts, kept in three different environmental conditions over a period of month time is reported. For this, their chromaticity values obtained from the absorbance and UV fluorescence spectra and the change in colour difference denoted as ∆E*ab gave a significant correlation coefficient over time. The data obtained also illustrates possible chronological aging of printed text and ultimately explaining drying process. This enabled not only to analyse the studied material in a non-destructive manner but also to study the breakdown of colour and pigment present in toner/ink under different environmental conditions and in this way increases the possibility to distinguish them on account of time of printing.



Forensic Science; Questioned Document; age of document; printers.


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