Explosive Traces and Forensic Analysis

1381 WordsFeb 25, 20185 Pages
Explosives are used for a variety of applications from military operations to mining. However, these materials can also be used in criminal investigations such as terrorists who threaten harm or cause death and destruction. Explosives can be categorised into two main forms: high explosives and low explosives. High explosives are explosive materials that detonate. This means that the explosive shock passes through the material at a speed, faster than the speed of sound. High explosives generally detonate with an explosive velocity ranging from 3 to 9 km/s. Low explosive are compounds where the rate of decomposition proceeds through the material at a speed less than the speed of sound. The decomposition is spread by a flame. This is known as deflagration. Under normal conditions, low explosives undergo deflagration at rates varying from a few centimetres per second to roughly 400 metre per second. It is possible for low explosives to deflagrate extremely quickly producing an effect which is similar to detonation of high explosives. This usually occurs when ignited in a confined space and can happen due to high pressure or high temperatures. The detection and/or identification of trace amounts of explosives is an important aspect of forensic investigations. Some methods of detection can also identify the explosives, some cannot for example the use of canine detection, and the dog can smell the explosive but cannot say what it is. Techniques for detection and identification
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