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Proceedings Paper

Analysis of particles produced during airbag deployment by scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and their deposition on surrounding surfaces: a mid-research summary
Author(s): J. Matney Wyatt
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Paper Abstract

Airbags can be encountered in forensic work when investigating a car crash and are typically constructed with primerlike material to begin the deployment apparatus. The mechanisms of airbag deployment can produce particles ideal for scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) analysis. A recent study published by Berk studied airbags with vents and showed that it is possible for particles generated from the deployment of these airbags to deposit on surfaces in the vehicle as the airbags deflate.1 Another paper published by Berk reported particles similar in morphology and composition to primer gunshot residue (GSR) are produced by side impact airbags.2 This paper's aim will be to show mid-point results of a study still in progress in which non-vented airbags were analyzed to determine if they exhibited the same particle depositing features as their vented airbag counterparts. Further investigation in this study is being performed to find more airbags which produce primer gunshot residue-like particles containing lead, barium, and antimony from airbag deployment. To date, the study has resulted in (1) non-vented airbags exhibiting deposition of particles suitable for SEM/EDS analysis and (2) no gunshot residue-like particles being detected from the airbag residues studied thus far.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8036, Scanning Microscopies 2011: Advanced Microscopy Technologies for Defense, Homeland Security, Forensic, Life, Environmental, and Industrial Sciences, 803604 (1 June 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.883409
Show Author Affiliations
J. Matney Wyatt, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8036:
Scanning Microscopies 2011: Advanced Microscopy Technologies for Defense, Homeland Security, Forensic, Life, Environmental, and Industrial Sciences
Michael T. Postek; Dale E. Newbury; S. Frank Platek; David C. Joy; Tim K. Maugel, Editor(s)

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