Forensic Examination of Post-Fire Damaged Electrical Conductors by Using X-Ray Radiographs
Keywords:Arc Mapping, Arc Survey, Arc, Bead, Computed Tomography, Electrical, Fire, Fire Investigation, Microstructure, NDT, Porosity, X-ray, Artifact, Conductors, Forensic Engineering, Science, Origin and Cause Investigation, Radiograph, Radiography
Structural fires globally have a catastrophic impact on loss of life, property damage, and socioeconomic factors. Forensic scientists, engineers, and/or fire investigators — often working together as fire investigation practitioners — are commonly tasked with determining both the area of fire origin and its cause. During the course of a fire investigation, a fire investigation practitioner may implement an origin determination methodology termed “arc mapping” or an “arc survey.” The correct application of an arc survey as a fire origin determination method is dependent on the fire investigation practitioner’s ability to distinguish and characterize features observed on post-fire damage electrical wiring and equipment. Experiments were conducted to generate a dataset of post-fire damaged electrical conductor artifacts. Generated artifacts were visually examined, compared, and characterized by X-ray examination. The research results produced a validated, novel, non-destructive methodology for utilizing X-ray imagery to reliably distinguish and characterize electrical conductor damage features for forensic investigations.
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