Aug 4, 2008 | 4
U.K. researchers are developing a coating for bullet casings that sticks to the hands (or gloves) of anyone handling it and is very difficult to remove. The idea is to give each bullet a "fingerprint" that can be traced to a given crime.
Today, cops rely on generic gunpowder, primer and lubricants getting on the shooter's hands and clothing when a bullet is fired. Such techniques can tell when someone has fired a gun, but can't tie a shooter to a specific bullet casing.
The new coating is made from chemicals infused with nano-sized particles 30 microns in diameter (one micron is one millionth of a meter).
Each coating can have a slightly different chemical composition to give it a unique signature that can help establish a link between a fired cartridge and a shooter, according to University of Surrey chemistry professor Paul Sermon, who led a team of colleagues from other universities with more than $743,000 in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the U.K.'s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences.
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