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Transfer of Bloodstains From Textile Surfaces: A Fundamental Analysis

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2018
13 pages
This is the final summary of a study with the primary goal of providing an understanding of the interactions involved in the transfer of a bloodstain from one textile material to another, and a secondary objective was to create a new synthetic blood for forensic science that closely mimics human blood's properties, including surface tension, non-Newtonian viscosity, and red blood cells, so that it faithfully reproduces real bloodstains.

One of the two main tasks was to measure the transfer of blood from a blood-stained fabric to a fabric that is not stained, so as to determine the underlying physics and chemistry involved. The second main task was to develop the artifical blood with the aforementioned properties. The study found that even for two 100-percent cotton fabrics of the simplest fabric structures and for the simplest bloodstain, the transfer stains had significantly different characteristics from the stain that produced the transfer. It was also determined that the transfer between fabrics occurred only while liquid blood remained on the fabric surface. Once the blood entered the yarn structure, it became difficult for the blood to be transferred to another yarn through pressure. The study also determined that the viscosity profile of the artificial blood substitute closely matched that of porcine blood, and stains created by the artificial blood substitute closely resembled those of porcine blood. The artificial blood substitute is storage-stable at room temperature and should be a safe alternative for use in training and scene re-creation. 7 figures

Date Published: April 1, 2018