The reconstruction of serial numbers in polymers: Recent progress, challenges, and perspectives


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Skokan, L., Crispino, F., Muehlethaler, C. et Ruediger, A. (2023). The reconstruction of serial numbers in polymers: Recent progress, challenges, and perspectives. WIREs Forensic Science . Article e1495. ISSN 0300-9432 DOI 10.1002/wfs2.1495

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Abstract The mass production of polymers has forced forensic practitioners to reconsider traditional methods of traces analysis. The field of impression reconstruction, specifically markings in firearms, is a prime example. This overview offers a critical evaluation of the relevant published techniques for the reconstruction of serial number in polymers, which include destructive methods such as swelling, heat treatments and relief polishing as well as methods allowing for trace preservation, such as hyperspectral Raman imaging combined with multivariate statistical analysis for enhanced pertinent data extraction. It therefore provides a complementary compilation to existing protocols for metal substrates. The novelty of this work lies within its approach, specifically by establishing not only the mechanistic scientific explanation for suitable comprehension and application of the techniques, but also by properly assessing their relevance considering the use in a forensic science context. The potential of wide-field imaging techniques, mainly auto-fluorescence analysis, is suggested for faster acquisition and reduced data processing (i.e., decreased time and greater accessibility). Additionally, application of the acquired knowledge to other relevant forensic traces, such as failure analysis of 3D printed objects, is proposed. Emphasis is also placed on the relevance of a purposeful interpretative framework necessary to reconstruct the singular past of the obliterated serial number thus leading to the identification of the given object in which it is affixed. This article is categorized under: Forensic Chemistry and Trace Evidence > Fingermarks and Other Marks Forensic Chemistry and Trace Evidence > Emerging Technologies and Methods Forensic Chemistry and Trace Evidence > Trace Evidence

Type de document: Article
Date de dépôt: 11 mars 2024 12:54
Dernière modification: 11 mars 2024 12:54
Version du document déposé: Post-print (version corrigée et acceptée)

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