Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $205,087)
The goal of this research project is to study the formation and identification of arc-beads encountered within fire and arson investigations. Fire and arson investigators, often rely on the appearance of electrical wires and the presence of electrical activity (e.g. arc-beads) on wires to assess the potential involvement of the wires or attached appliances in the initiation of the fire. The main objective of this research is to determine if distinguishing characteristics exist between energized and non-energized wires exposed to various types of thermal exposures. By understanding the formation of arc-beads and the characteristics associated with their formation, this research can help investigators identify if a fire was initiated by an electrical malfunction or by arson.