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The preservation of quartz grain surface textures following vehicle fire and their use in forensic enquiry

Morgan, RM; Little, M; Gibson, A; Hicks, L; Dunkerley, S; Bull, PA; (2008) The preservation of quartz grain surface textures following vehicle fire and their use in forensic enquiry. Science and Justice , 48 (3) pp. 13-140. 10.1016/j.scijus.2008.04.001. Green open access

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Abstract

During a terrorist trial, dispute arose as to whether the temperature produced in a car fire was sufficient to destroy quartz grain surface textures. A series of seven sequential experiments showed that the temperature for quartz surface texture modification/destruction and the production of vugs, vesicles and glassy precipitation ('snowdrifting') occurred at 1200 degrees C under normal atmospheric conditions. By adding a number of man-made and natural substances, it was found that only the presence of salts depressed this modification temperature (to 900 degrees C). Experiments to determine the temperature of fire in a car indicated that the maximum temperature produced under natural conditions (810 degrees C) was insufficient to affect the quartz grain Surface textures. These results confirm the use of surface texture analysis of quartz grains recovered from the remains of cars Subjected to fire and their use as a forensic indicator. (C) 2008 Forensic Science Society. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: The preservation of quartz grain surface textures following vehicle fire and their use in forensic enquiry
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.scijus.2008.04.001
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2008.04.001
Language: English
Keywords: Forensic science, Quartz, Vehicle fire temperatures, Scanning electron microscopy, PARTICLE-SIZE ANALYSIS, FOREST-FIRE, SOIL EVIDENCE, VALIDITY, SAMPLES, DESERT, COLOR
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/84825
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