The use of X-ray fluorescence microanalysis was investigated to determine if it would allow further discrimination between samples of colorless acrylic and polyester fibers which were indistinguishable using brightfield, fluorescence and FTIR-microscopy. The aim was to determine if this technique could be successfully applied to single fibers of relatively fine titer and whether it would be beneficial to include it into the existing sequence of techniques used to compare colorless fibers. The extent of intra-garment variation and the possible effects of tape and mounting media residues on the elemental analysis were also investigated. The results confirmed the high value of fluorescence microscopy within the existing examination sequence and showed that single fiber analysis using X-ray fluorescence microanalysis is not only feasible, but improved the discriminating power between such colorless samples by about 50%.
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