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Fire Investigation / Combustion By-Products

Fire Related Testing Program Combustion By-Products
(Char, Black Carbon/Soot, Ash)

Purpose of the Test                     

This test is designed for analysis of fire residues for presence of analytes of interest (char, black carbon/soot and ash). The results of this test offers the client valuable information related to the extent of damage produced by a fire at a residential, industrial or wildfire location. These results can be used for cleaning assessment and/or insurance claims.

Sampling

Surface sampling:

  • Alcohol prep wipes (recommended surfaces: TV’s computer displays, plastic surfaces, furniture, windows, mirrors, internal surfaces of refrigerators; avoid painted surfaces)

  • Microvacuum: 25 mm 0. 45 micron or 0.8 microns pore size MCE cassettes (recommended surfaces: main living areas, from top of interior door frame, window frame, from corners of floors, door tracks, attic areas)

  • Tape lifts (recommended surfaces- same as for alcohol prep wipes)1


Air Sampling

  • PVC pre-weighed cassettes (for NIOSH 5000 only)
  • Zefon CSI cassettes 1
  • Zefon Air-o-cells 1
  • 25 mm 0.45 micron pore size MCE cassettes1; Flow rate 0.5-16 L/min, Min volume 400 L

 

Levels of Analysis

We offer a diverse combination of analytical levels depending on the complexity of the methods used in the analysis and tailored to the client’s specific needs. The analysis levels are listed below. The analytical complexity level and the overall value of the package increases from level 1 to 4.

Level 1. Char + Soot1 + Ash
Level 2. Char + Soot (confirmation level) + Ash
Level 3. Char + Soot (confirmation level) + Ash+ common components of environmental dust (such as fibrous glass, biological material, cellulose, synthetic fibers, pollen, quartz, calcite)
Level 4. Char + Soot (confirmation level) + Ash+ common components of environmental dust (fibrous glass, biological material, cellulose, synthetic fibers, pollen, quartz, calcite) + Elemental composition of soot, char, and ash by SEM/EDX + pH (to determine overall corrosivity of the dust)


Level 1 is a screening level, very affordable and valuable for quick and easy assessment of the overall degree of contamination.

Levels 2, 3 and 4 offer analysis using the best analytical methods for confirmatory presence of all the analytes of interest (including soot confirmatory analysis based on ASTM D6602).

Results

The concentration of analytes of interest in bulk samples is derived by Visual Estimation Technique (VAE). The technique estimates the relative projected area of a certain type of particulate in a mixture by comparison with data derived from analysis of calibration materials having similar texture and particulate content. NIOSH 5000 is a gravimetric method. Counting technique is used for Zefon and MCE air sample cassettes.

The analysis is performed by analysts trained in advanced techniques of particles identification. Additional consultation regarding interpretation of the results and regulations is provided free of charge by senior scientists. Fast turn-around times can be provided: same day and week-end analysis available. Our senior scientists have experience in litigation support and expert witness testimony.

The analysis is performed by analysts trained in advanced techniques of particles identification. Fast turn-around times can be provided: same day and week-end analysis available. Our senior scientists have experience in litigation support and expert witness testimony.



1
: Soot analysis is limited to presumptive analysis level only; TEM analysis for confirmation per ASTM D6602 cannot be performed on tape lifts, AIR-o-cells, CSI cassettes samples. In order to resolve the submicron size and the aciniform morphology of the particles confirmatory analysis by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) is needed.

 

Full list of services provided for Fire Investigation ( click for details )
Accelerants
Ash
Carbon Black
Char
Cigarette Smoke
Combustible Dust (Core Module) - (OSHA ID 201SG)
Combustible Dust (Core Module) - (OSHA ID 201SG)
Combustion By-Products
Flashpoint
Full Analysis with All Tests (Class II) - Core Analysis with MEC, MIE, MIT & MPR
IESO / RIA Standard 6001
Maximum Rate of Pressure Rise (MPR) - ASTM E1226
Minimum Explosive Concentration (MEC) - ASTM E1515
Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE) - ASTM E2019
Minimum Ignition Temperature (MIT) - ASTM E1491
NIOSH 5000 (Gravimetric analysis only for Carbon Black)
NIOSH 5000 (Includes TEM Confirmation)
Resistivity for Metal Dust
Soot
Source Confirmation
Wild Fires
Wood Smoke
Laboratories providing Fire Investigation ( click for details )