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Chapter 11 Trace Elements: Metals, Paints and Soil

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1 Chapter 11 Trace Elements: Metals, Paints and Soil
Objectives: Describe the usefulness of trace elements for the forensic comparison of various types of physical evidence. Distinguish between a continuous and line emission spectrum. Describe the parts of a simple emission spectrograph. Define protons, neutrons, and electrons, including their mass and charge relationships. Define atomic number and atomic mass number. Describe the orbital energy levels that are occupied by electrons. State what happens when an atom absorbs a definite amount of energy. Explain the phenomenon of an atom releasing energy in the form of light. Define an isotope. Define radioactivity. Explain how elements can be made radioactive.

2 Chapter 11 Trace Elements: Metals, Paints and Soil
Objectives: Describe the components of paint. Classify automobile paints. List those examinations most useful for performing a forensic comparison of paint. Describe the proper collection and preservation of paint evidence. List the important forensic properties of soil. Describe the density-gradient tube technique. Describe the proper collection of soil evidence.

3 Forensic Analysis of Metals
Trace Elements small quantities of elements found as impurities in all natural and manufactured products useful as “invisible”markers Kennedy Assassination bullets and fragments tested for silver and antimony match fragments in car Connally bullets indistinguishable Q1 and Q1 same Ag Sb ppm Kennedy bullets indistinguishable Q2 and Q14 Connally and Kennedy bullets are different

4 Atomic Structure Atoms composed of particles:
Proton positive charge mass of 1 Neutron no charge Electron negative charge mass of 1/1837 Proton number distinguishes elements Atomic Number = # of protons Mass Number = sum of protons & neutrons nucleus

5 Elements and Isotopes Isotope Radioisotope Atoms of same element
same atomic number (electrons & protons) Have different atomic mass different number of neutrons Radioisotope unstable isotope decompose

6 Isotopes atoms of same element with different masses same # of protons
different # of neutrons

7 Radioactivity high-energy particles released during decay Alpha rays
largest/least energy He nucleus (2 protons & 2 neutrons) Beta Rays smaller/more energy electrons Gamma Rays smallest/most energy electromagnetic radiation

8 Neutron Activation Analysis
atoms in a nuclear reactor gain neutrons becoming unstable releasing gamma rays can be detected to identify trace element determine if samples have common origin

9 Composition of Paint pigments binder impart color and opacity
organic compounds binder polymer and solvent polymer holds pigments solvent evaporates after application

10 Automotive Paints Electrocoat Primer Primer Surfacer Basecoat
organic resins electroplated to resist erosion (black or gray) Primer Surfacer epoxy modified polyester or urethane smooth out and hide seams Basecoat acrylic polymer pigments mica chips aluminum flakes resist weather, UV, acid rain Clearcoat acrylic or polyurethane improve gloss

11 Microscopic Paint Examination
side by side comparison layer structure match # and sequence of colors “chip” fit

12 Paint Binder Characterization
Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography decompose paint sample w/heat pyrolyze expose to high temperatures ( °C) sample breaks up into many gaseous parts run these gases through GC forms a pyrogram can distinguish polymers Infrared Spectrophotometry each “binder” will have a characteristic absorption spectra

13 Paint Pigment Characterization
Inorganic Pigments identified by emission spectra, neutron activation analysis, x-ray spectroscopy detects 15 to 20 elements most are common to all paints (unimportant) a few are rarely found (important) Organic Pigments UV Absorption Spectra Carbon Arc Emission Spectrometry “fingerprint” from “excited” electrons absorb energy move from ground state to excited state release “light” energy when they return to ground state Inductively Coupled Emission Spectrometry (ICP) argon gas and radio frequency induced coil form “hot plasma” aerosol of sample forced through the plasma forming an emission spectra

14 Significance of Paint Evidence
Canadian Study 260 vehicle chips in wreck yard color, layer, and IR spec study all but one pair were distinguishable PDQ (Paint Data Query) Canadian data base started 1975 automotive paints layers, primer color, binder

15 Collection of Paint Evidence
primary goal keep chip intact druggist fold or vial clothing package “whole” hit and runs get standard sample from undamaged area scrape to bare metal ¼ inch2 sample sufficient

16 Forensic Examination of Soil
Visual Comparison color and texture soils compared must be dried under identical lab conditions Microscopic Comparison low power plant, animal, artificial materials high power minerals and rocks (geologist) Density Tube Gradient tubes with liquids of various densities density distribution pattern of soils useful only in conjunction with other tests

17 Collection of Soil Evidence
must establish variation at scene standards collected at various intervals within 100 yard radius only surface soil each in individual plastic vials suspect samples take whole object containing soil car soil “lump form” sampling soil laid down in layers unique layering may have mre value

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