Particulate Material Transfer

Particulate material transfer is concerned with the transfer of very small fragments of a material onto the clothing, footwear and hair of an individual, and possibly other items or surfaces.

The most common example of such a particulate material from a Forensic viewpoint is glass particles.

When a window is broken, for example in a burglary or theft from vehicle, minute particles of glass (1mm and much less in dimension) can be transferred onto the clothing of an individual standing in close proximity to the window as it was being broken, or who has been in subsequent contact with the broken window.

Clothing from a suspect can be seized and examined at a laboratory to recover any such minute glass particles and scientifically compare them with a control sample of glass from the window. The scientific comparison involves measurement of physical parameters of the glass such as refractive index and chemical composition.

Opinions in respect of the examination can be detailed in reports and the Prosecution might seek to rely on these opinions in support of the allegations against a defendant.

Other examples of particulate material transfer include minute metal fragments from use of metal cutting machine and angle grinders, and minute paint fragments from window frames or doors that have been forced open using a jemmy or other such tool.

Issues such as secondary transfer and contamination can often be important as such cases and our experts at Forensic Excellence can undertake a full, thorough and robust evaluation of all aspects of such cases.