Cut damage induced by a sharp object on cotton clothes is detected through SEM analysis

Examination of damaged clothes is an important element of crime investigation and is done in a variety of criminal situations such as stabbings, sexual assaults, robberies, and so on. Cloth from such cases can be utilised to verify crime occurrences since clothing damage analysis has the capacity to associate crime with criminal and crime scene. It is a well-known fact that examining clothes not only gives evidence with regard to persons or locations, but also describes what occurred during the crime event. Fabric damage examination is a regular assignment for forensic scientists, particularly in situations of homicide and alleged assault. Clothing damage can occur as a result of four significant consequences: physical, mechanical, chemical, and thermal effect.

Nandini Katare and MP Goutam presented their research on “Use of SEM analysis to detect cut damage caused by a sharp item on cotton clothing,” which focuses on the association of damaged clothes with the exact object/weapon that was used and caused the damage. Because the end areas of cutting damage on clothing are the most important factors in the correlation of clothing with used weapon(s), morphological characteristics of the fiber-end of damaged clothing were examined using a scanning electron microscope by observing various features such as frayed ends, fiber distortion, and so on. SEM experiments revealed that cuts created by a razor, a paring knife, a laser, and/or a steak knife may be distinguished.

Based on the results of the experiments, Authors determined that the SEM tests proven to be a suitable technique for correlating weapon damage with clothing damage. However, experiments on various types of clothes, such as rayon, polyester, silk, and woollen, must be conducted in order to determine the specificity of this technique.

Reference: Nandini Katare, MP Goutam. Differentiation of Cut Damage caused by Sharp Objects on Cotton Clothes using SEM Analysis. J Forensic Sci & Criminal Inves. 2021; 15(2): 555907 DOI: 10.19080/JFSCI.2021.15.555907

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