This web site was copied prior to January 20, 2005. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links, forms, and search boxes may not function within this collection. Learn more.   [hide]

Gold bar graphic FBI HOME PAGEFBI HEADQUARTERS & PROGRAMSHANDBOOK OF FORENSIC SERVICES

Gold bar graphic FORENSIC SCIENCE COMMUNICATIONSLABORATORY SERVICESFBI LABORATORY

FBI Laboratory seal

FBI Laboratory heading

Graphic for Materials Analysis Unit

 

The Materials Analysis Unit performs geologic/mineralogic, metallurgical, and elemental examinations on evidence associated with property crimes, violent crimes, and disasters. The Unit consists of three subunits:

  • Mineralogy Subunit—Examines naturally occurring geologic materials such as soil, rocks, minerals, and gemstones. Conducts examinations on man-made products that are derived from geologic materials, such as glass, building materials, and abrasive compounds.

  • Metallurgy Subunit—Conducts compositional, fabrication, and failure analyses of a variety of metallic objects using physical, optical, and spectrographic methods.

  • Elemental Analysis Subunit—Examines metals, alloys, bullet lead, shot, and heavy metal in human hair.


For more information about materials evidence examinations or the Materials Analysis Unit, see the
Metallurgy, Elemental Analysis, Abrasives, Building Materials, Glass, and Soil sections of the Handbook of Forensic Services.

Back to the top

Back to the Index

Graphic showing scanning electron microscope (SEM) examination


The scanning electron microscope (SEM) is used in elemental analyses and in examinations requiring detailed
images of minute evidence.


Graphic showing soil analysis


Microscopic examination of soil


Graphic showing inductively-coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES)


Inductively-coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES)

Graphic link to FBI Home Page Graphic link to FBI Laboratory Graphic link to Handbook of Forensic Services
Graphic link to FBI Headquarters and Programs page Graphic link to Laboratory Services
Graphic link to Forensic Science Communications
Information revised October 2000