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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157555 Find in a Library
Title: Using the Scanning Electron Microscope to Identify the Cause of Fibre Damage Part II: An Exploratory Study
Journal: Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal  Volume:28  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1995)  Pages:189-200
Author(s): W Pelton; P Ukpabi
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: A pilot study was conducted to determine the capability of the scanning electron microscope (SEM) technique to distinguish cuts from tears or to identify the particular mechanism used to damage a fabric by simply looking at fiber end appearance.
Abstract: A compact, plain woven structure of untextured multifilament nylon was selected as the test fabric. Damaged specimens were produced by a sharp carving knife, a sharp pair of dressmaker's shears, and an Elmendorf tear tester. Fourteen panelists received written instructions on how to assess fiber end damage based on comparisons with theoretical models and SEM micrographs of knife cut, scissor cut, and impact tear and ductile fracture fiber end appearances. Results showed that the recognition probability of correctly identifying the cause of damage was low and that fiber ends created by different damage mechanisms showed overlapping characteristics. Further research on fiber damage is recommended, and the authors suggest scientists exercise caution in using the SEM technique to identify the cause of fabric damage in criminal investigations. 11 references, 5 tables, and 4 figures
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Courts; Criminal investigation; Criminalistics; Electron microscopy; Evidence identification; Hair and fiber analysis
Note: Presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science, 1993, Winnipeg, Manitoba
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