Forensic Ballistics and Toolmark Examinations
Microscopy Applications for Forensics

Forensic Ballistics and Toolmark Examinations

Analysis of the Effects of Stress to Materials Surfaces

As a specialist in this field, you are regularly tasked with comparative light microscopy analysis of the effects of stress to materials surfaces such as linking bullets to weapons. A firearm will leave characteristic and distinctive marks like striations on the ammunition behind that was fired from it. These striations are due to the rifling inside the barrel of handguns. By examining these unique striations with comparative examinations of scratches left behind on the bullet and weapon, individual fired rounds can often be linked back to a specific weapon.

Equally, tools of any other kind that are used at a crime scene can also be similarly investigated. Toolmark examination pursues the intention of pairing tool and toolmark such as a screwdriver with a pried-open window frame or a hammer with an indent. Even brand-new tools have their specific characteristics imprinted by the production process. Suspicious tools or firearms will be used to generate comparison samples and side-by-side comparison will either confirm or refute the evidence.

For these tasks, specialized certified comparison microscope systems are available that are built on ZEISS optical systems to offer the highest precision optics and best ergonomics together with advanced digital evidence documentation for case reports. Additionally, ZEISS is offering a wide variety of stereo, zoom and light microscopes with advanced digital cameras and documentation software for your forensics lab. The unique digital microscope Smartzoom 5 is an integrated portable platform for automated optical imaging, measurement and topography that brings the most advanced features from industrial QA/QC workflows to your forensics lab and even directly to the crime scene.

Forensic Ballistics and Toolmark Examinations

Acquired with ZEISS Stemi 508, ring light, left quarter circle
Bullet casing – Acquired with ZEISS Stemi 508, ring light, left quarter circle
Imaged with ZEISS EVO, SE detector at 10 kV
Bullet casing with pits and marks left by the firing pin Imaged with ZEISS EVO, SE detector at 10 kV
Acquired with ZEISS Axio Zoom.V16
Traces in projectile case

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