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The use of chemistry in forensic science extends to determining blood alcohol levels, understanding explosives, analyzing fires, studying gunshot residue, and identifying drugs and other controlled substances both pure and from human secretions. Each of these areas contributes to an understanding of the crime and the evidence.
Fire Research: Pattern Repeatability
We are also working with the National Institute of Justice to support research into fire patterns, which assist in fire analysis. Additional understanding of fire patterns can help forensic scientists characterize the source of fires based upon the heat release rate, heat flux, plume temperature, and flame height. We supported experiments to examine the repeatability of pre-flashover fire patterns generated by short-duration fires from natural gas, gasoline, and polyurethane foam. We will share the data from these experiments with standards organizations, and it will serve as input data for the Fire Dynamics Simulator/Smokeview, a computational fluid dynamics program that re-creates burn patterns.
We have contributed to the development of Standard Reference Materials in a variety of forensic chemistry disciplines, such as: