Volume 24, Issue 1 (January 1979)
Thermomechanical Examination of Fabric Composed of Synthetic Polymers
As the variety of synthetic fibers increases and their use continues to grow the forensic scientist is faced more and more with the problem of identifying them. The work is generally difficult because the available clue samples are usually very small. Fibers found in car headlights after a hit-and-run injury to a pedestrian or under fingernails after a violent crime may consist of only a single filament not more than 1 cm long. Such clues do not provide adequate amounts of material for standard microchemical analysis methods. Moreover, the chemical compositions are very similar within a given class of fibers, such as the nylons, although the fibers within that class frequently differ in mechanical properties as a result of intentional modifications of the fiber-manufacturing processes [1,2]. Consequently, infrared spectrophotometry and pyrolysis gas chromatography produce similar spectra from various nylons, although the nylons differ in mechanical properties.