Forensic Publications

Scientist preparing a slide on a microscope. The below documents are management system documents utilized by ATF Forensic Laboratories. They are provided for informational purposes only. Sensitive or copyrighted information has been redacted. The documents are used in ATF Laboratories and not published with the intent of setting a policy or analysis standard for other laboratories. The inclusion of equipment/software manufacturer names does not imply endorsement by ATF Laboratories.

The documents were current as of February 28, 2018. ATF management system documents are reviewed annually and revised as needed. For specific requests, submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Name Description Type
Arc Mapping as a Tool for Fire Investigations.pdf (659.73 KB)

The purpose of this Technical Bulletin is to address statements that are contained in Arc Mapping: New Science or New Myth?

Arc Melting in Electrical Receptacles Research Photographs (ATFFRL-TB-190001) (32.74 MB)

The purpose of this Technical Bulletin is to provide a selection of photographs of various receptacle failures as a reference for fire investigators and engineers.

Impression Evidence
Arc Melting on Cables Protected by AFCI GFCI and TM Circuit Breakers (ATFFRL-TB-210001) (23.4 MB)

The purpose of this Technical Bulletin is to provide the photographs and waveforms produced during the testing and research that examined the relationship between the formation of arc melting and the type of circuit protection device used on the circuit.

Impression Evidence
ATF-LS Fire Debris (660.36 KB)

ATF Laboratory Services Fire Debris

Fire Debris
ATF-LS Firearms and Toolmarks (648.94 KB)
ATF Laboratory Services Firearms and Toolmarks
Firearm and Toolmark
ATF-LS Latent Prints (476.77 KB)

ATF Laboratory Services Latent Prints

Latent Prints
ATF-LS Quality Documents (3.96 MB)

ATF Laboratory Services Quality Documents

Quality Manuals
ATF-LS Questioned Documents (521.87 KB)

ATF Laboratory Services Questioned Documents

Questioned Documents
ATF-LS Triage Unit (265.65 KB)

ATF Laboratory Services Triage Unit

Triage Unit
ATF-LS-E02 - Explosives Sections Abbreviations (226.67 KB)
Abbreviations for explosives sections.
ATF-LS-E03 - Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (241.75 KB)
Scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM/EDS) is a non-destructive analytical technique used to identify elements present in solid, powdered or liquid samples.
ATF-LS-E05 - X-ray Powder Diffraction (316.99 KB)
X-ray diffraction is used for the identification of any crystalline material, including inorganic and organic crystalline explosives, residues, and raw materials. Samples may be either individual substances or mixtures.
ATF-LS-E06 - Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (308.08 KB)
Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is a valuable method of identification and comparison in forensic exams.
ATF-LS-E07 - Pyrodex System (280.64 KB)
Liquid chromatography is a separation technique based on selective interactions between a stationary phase and a mobile phase.
ATF-LS-E09 - Detection of Explosives by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) (342.92 KB)
Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry is used for the characterization and identification of many materials, including complex mixtures, which are capable of passing through a gas chromatograph.
ATF-LS-E11 - Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (331.1 KB)
Pyrolysis is a technique used to break chemical bonds of molecules by the use of thermal energy only.
ATF-LS-E13 - Detection of Ions by Ion Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (IC/MS) (307.43 KB)
Detection of Ions by Ion Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry is used for the identification of inorganic monatomic and polyatomic ions and organic acids commonly found in explosives and their combustion products.
ATF-LS-E14 - Ion Chromatography -Cation Analysis (261.81 KB)
This procedure is applicable for determination of inorganic and organic cations commonly found in aqueous extracts of explosives and explosive residues.
ATF-LS-E15 - Ignition Susceptibility Test (245.34 KB)
Ignition is the act of kindling or setting on fire any combustible substance. An ignition susceptibility test (IST) is conducted to determine if suspected intact explosives or fuse will support combustion.
ATF-LS-E16 - Analysis and Comparison of Composition C-4 (268.19 KB)
This policy and procedure guideline establishes a standard method for the analysis and comparison of Composition C-4.
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