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Forensic Technology

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 28 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2001 Pages: 154-157
Scott McCormick
Date Published
July 2001
4 pages
This article examines the process and uses of trace evidence isolation.
Looking for trace evidence often involves sieving pounds of material, spreading the remaining material on paper, and searching with tweezers for hair, fibers, paint chips, and other trace evidence, and may take months. The Peak Industries Trace Evidence Concentrator (TEC) will detect evidence as small as 10 microns, 15 times faster than current manual methods. Hairs, fibers, paint chips, and other low-density trace evidence can be recovered from any mixture of solids such as soil, sand, clay, and peat. In addition, the TEC can detect glass fragments, metal flakes, bomb taggants, explosive and fire accelerants, heavy metal pollutants, and archeological artifacts such as bones and pottery fragments. The TEC is a hydropneumatic elutriation system that operates on a differential density principal. It comes in two models, one for the laboratory and one for field use. Optional equipment for use with the field unit includes a generator for remote site power, closed-loop water containment, and heavy-duty filtration systems. The TEC can be used in connection with arson, homicides, explosives, soil samples, mass disasters, sexual assaults, vacuumed samples, burials and cremations, anthropological sites, and event reconstruction.