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University of the West of Scotland, School of Science

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Traineeship proposition
Samenvatting eindwerk 2011-2012: Infra Red Analysis and Microscopy of Textiles 
This project involves the examination of fibres from different textiles for forensic purposes. In the theoretical part the characteristics of some common types of textiles are given, as well as an enumeration of the recovery methods of fibres that are used by forensic experts. When recovering fibres it is important to examine them with a non-destructive method. Two of these methods, microscopy and infrared spectroscopy, were used during the experiment. They are frequently used for forensic examinations and are therefore very important.
When starting the project fibres had to be collected using tapings. These tapings were then looked at under the microscope to check their consistency. The results were very satisfying since every taping had almost the same number of fibres. The second part of the project consisted of obtaining infrared spectra of the textiles and interpreting them using FTIR with ATR attachment.
When interpreting the spectra a chemical explication is given of the most important peaks in the absorption spectra. The results were stored in a library for a reference later on. Two unknown pieces of garment were identified using the data from this library to compare them.
It is important to standardize the taping method so no important evidence gets lost. Fibres are important as forensic evidence but they have their limits, as they are so common. Although Fourier transform infrared spectrometry is a good method to analyze fibres, Raman spectroscopy could be a better method, because Raman will also give a signal for the dye of the fibre. This will narrow down the possibilities of garments and gives the forensic examiners a better indication of the type of fibres and thus fabrics found.


United Kingdom


Traineeship supervisor
Calum Morrison
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