Volume 47, Issue 3 (May 2002)
Identification of Tiny and Thin Smears of Automotive Paint Following a Traffic Accident
Three complementary methods in the order of stereomicroscopy,micro-FT-IR spectroscopy and solubility tests were used for the purpose of matching known and questioned paint samples in an auto accident case. Grayish green paint smears scattered on a silvery gray coated plastic bar were taken from a blue car and referred to as questioned samples. Green paint chips were collected as known samples from a green car. These were analyzed to determine whether the paint smears found in the blue car could have been the transfers from the green car. Although each of the three methods, when used alone, suffered from unequal bases for making comparison (i.e., layering whole paint vs. smeared paint), insufficient specificity of methodology and the interfering background coating beneath the smeared paint, the limitations were significantly relieved when three methods were used in combination. Based on the results presented in this report, the questioned grayish green paint smears collected from the blue car and the known green paint chips from the green car are of the same class of paint; that is, the possibility of the above stated paint transfers cannot be eliminated.