(Received 3 April 1995; accepted 8 August 1995)
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Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF) provides the capability for elemental characterization of individual carpet fibers of a few millimeters in length. XRF is rapid, nondestructive, and provides adequate sensitivity to detect the presence of a variety of elements added to carpet fibers during their manufacture. Several metallic elements are commonly observed in automotive carpet fibers and are less frequently present in the residential carpet fibers in this study, making source classification of these fibers at least partially successful. Qualitative comparison of X-ray spectra may also provide some discrimination capability when used in conjunction with optical microscopy and polymer characterization.
Research Chemist, Forensic Science Research Unit, FBI Laboratory, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA
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