Phase identification of a forensic sample

Forensic science is deeply involved with solving the unknown. Any evidence that may be obtained can help in a particular situation; the hair on the floor or the gun casing on the table. What about the powder in the oven, such as the one observed in Figure 1? What is it?

This is a simple task when using the MiniFlex. The data observed in Figure 2 was collected on the MiniFlex and analyzed using MDI's Jade software with an appropriate Powder Diffraction File (PDF) database. This substance is comprised of monobasic ammonium phosphate, calcium carbonate, silicon dioxide, ammonium sulfate and a sheet forming mica. It would appear that an ABC-type fire extinguisher had been discharged. The next question that needs to be answered is why.


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The fifth generation MiniFlex is a general purpose X-ray diffractometer that can perform qualitative and quantitative analysis of polycrystalline materials. The MiniFlex is available in two variations. Operating at 600 watts (X-ray tube), the MiniFlex 600 is twice as powerful as other benchtop models, enabling faster analysis and improved overall throughput. Running at 300 watts (X-ray tube), the new MiniFlex 300 does not require an external heat exchanger. Each model is engineered to maximize flexibility in a benchtop package. Read more...

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