Friday, January 14, 2011

Acetone Test for Blacktopping Explained

Blacktopping is a counterfeiting technique, where the counterfeiter, takes components, sands them to remove the origional component marking, blacktops (or paints) them in order to hide the origional marking, and then prints them with fraudulent markings.

While the methods used to blacktop or paint the sanded parts is improving each and every day, many of today's blacktopped components can be discovered by vigorously applying acetone to the component in an effort to disolve the paint or other substances used to blacktop the product. 

The following two images are of a counterfeit part, prior to exposure to acetone.  Please note that in the microscopic image the mold cavity has the same finish and texture relative to the rest of the part.  This is a common indicator that a product has been blacktopped as the mold cavity should have a different finish and surface texture.

After exposure to Acetone, applied with a Q-Tip to the bottom of this part, it becomes evident that the bottom of this part has been resurfaced or blacktopped both by the change in the texture or finish on the bottom of the parts, as well as by the evidence of the paint used on the Q-Tip.  The following two photo's illustrate this example.

The final photograph, shows evidence of sanding, which is only evident after the blacktopping is removed.

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