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Paint examinations usually arise from cases involving hit and runs, destruction of property, and burglary. The submitting agency should submit paint evidence in sealed containers such as envelopes or plastic vials. In the cases where a paint examination is requested a questioned paint is compared to a known paint standard to determine if a possible common origin exists. Paint standards should be collected from all vehicles involved as well as suspected paint transfers. Automotive paint standards should have all paint layers present, not just the topcoats. Paint analyses include color analysis, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR) and elemental analysis using a scanning electron microscope with x-ray detection.

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