LGI Forensic Labs

Laboratory Equipment and Uses: LGI follows ISO/IEC 17025 guidelines for all type of analysis and is outfitted with the following instruments:

1) Scanning Electron Microscope with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS)

2) Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

3) Keyence VHX7000 Series 3D Microscope

4) Metallograph and Stereomicroscope

5) Micro and Macro Hardness testers

6) Digital Radiographic (X-ray)/ Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner

Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS)-Provides analysis of the field of view or spot analyses of minute particles and has capability of detecting more than 90 elements using the SEM/EDS method. Forensic purposes include observing the surface of the fracture to determine mode of failure, metallurgical analysis and corrosion investigations. This method is a nondestructive test.

• LGI owns a Zeiss (LEO) 1455VP SEM. The Zeiss 1455VP is a highly versatile SEM that can be used for both imaging and analysis of specimens. It can operate in two modes; low vacuum (variable pressure) and high pressure

• Low-vacuum mode (variable pressure) is used for imaging and qualitative X-ray analysis of uncoated and non-conductive material such as polymers and ceramics

• High-vacuum mode is suitable for imaging and quantitative analysis of conductive material

• Varies in magnification from 12X-300,000X

• Normal turnaround time per sample is four (4) to eight (8) hours

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)-A rapid non-destructive technique to identifying materials that are either organic or inorganic. Forensic purposes include investigating debris from fires/explosions, unknown materials, drugs, plumbing system fittings and polymers.

• LGI owns a Thermo Scientific Nicolet IS10 Mid-IR System with Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR)

• Solid, liquid or gaseous samples can be analyzed

• Normal turnaround time per sample is four (4) hours

Keyence 3D Microscope: This microscope is a 4K High Accuracy Digital Microscope capable of capturing high resolution images and measurements. Forensic applications include providing a much greater depth-of-field. The specimens being examined can also be scanned and reconsttructed in 3D.

• LGI owns a Keyence VHX 7000 Series 3D Microscope

• Normal turnaround time per sample is four (4) hours

Metallograph and Stereomicroscope- Forensic purposes include analysis of microstructural defects, corrosion, and general metal microstructure. The microstructure is analyzed for manufacturing defects, grain boundary defects, incorrect alloy phases, selective leaching, etc.

• LGI owns a NIKON Eclipse MA100 Inverted Materials Microscope Metallograph

• LGI owns a Nikon SMZ 1000 Zoom Stereomicroscope

• Metallograph magnification ranges from 50X-1000X

• Stereomicroscope magnification ranges from 8X-80X

• Normal turnaround time per sample four (4) hours

Micro and Macro Hardness Testers – to determine properties of metal

• Macro hardness testing of materials is a fast and accurate method of determining the mechanical properties for a metal sample

• Micro hardness testing also determines the mechanical properties for materials with a fine microstructure and uses a microscope that can be converted to find the tensile strength of a material

• For forensic purposes, the hardness and strength of material is compared against manufacturing data or national standards to confirm or deny if a material failed due to improper manufacturing

• Normal turnaround time per sample four (4) hours

Digital Radiograph – X-ray/CT Scanner

• Through an outside vendor LGI has the capability of performing laboratory x-rays of a variety of materials from metals, and valves to debris and artifacts recovered from fire scenes.

• Forensic applications include using an X-ray as a non-destructive test to document the condition of a fire scene artifact before destructive disassembly, to look for signs of electrical activity on wires that are not visible due to melted material, and to examine a part for an internal fracture or crack.