Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Forensic and Investigative Science
Keith B. Morris
Pipe bombs are a substantial problem around the world killing and injuring thousands each year. Traditionally explosive used, residues of explosives, and bomb components have been the main source of evidence in the investigation of a located or exploded pipe bomb. This research analyzed the trace elemental compositions of metal pipes to investigate if pipes can be compared. It was found that in a sample set of 37 pipes, of different brands and purchase locations, each pipe was homogenous at trace elemental concentrations. This homogeneity allowed for comparison between pipes. An x-ray tube, as an alternate excitation source, which had been added to a traditional scanning electron microscope -- energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry system was used in this research. X-ray excitation versus the electron excitation of traditional SEM was able to detect trace elements in the pipe metal. The method was able to discriminate between 80% of the total sample set by trace elemental analysis comparison.
Hellested, Mandi, "Pre and Post Blast Chemical Comparison of the Intra- and Inter-Variability of Metal Pipes Commonly Used in Pipe Bombs" (2012). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 527.