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    Volume 50, Issue 6 (November 2005)

    Forensic Value of Pattern and Particle Transfers From Deployed Automotive Airbag Contact

    (Received 30 March 2005; accepted 23 June 2005)

    Published Online: September

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    Many automobile manufacturers began installing airbags on the driver's side in the late 1980's. Passenger side airbags followed in the early 1990's. Most airbags use a solid-propellant type of material that produces a hot gas to inflate the airbags. The gas in the driver side airbag leaves the inflator at a temperature as hot as 600°C. The hot gas escapes through the vent holes after deployment, but it can also leak through the stitching seams in the front and singe a pattern on the occupant's clothing characteristic of the seam pattern. The singe patterns from the driver and passenger side airbags will be different. Cornstarch, which is used as a lubricant in some driver side airbags, can transfer to the driver's shirt. Hairs, fibers and make-up can transfer from the driver or passenger to the surface of the deployed airbags. Two cases are presented, illustrating singe patterns and particle transfers, and how they helped determine who a driver or passenger were.


    Author Information:

    Schubert, GD
    Illinois State Police, Carbondale, IL


    Stock #: JFS2005163

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS2005163

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    Title Forensic Value of Pattern and Particle Transfers From Deployed Automotive Airbag Contact
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30