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A New Wipe-Sampling Instrument for Measuring the Collection Efficiency of Trace Explosives Residues


Trace explosives detection, a crucial component of many security screening environments, commonly employs wipe-sampling. Since collection of an explosive residue is necessary for detection, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the parameters that affect the efficiency of collection. Current wipe-sampling evaluation techniques for explosive particles have their limits: manual sampling (with fingers or a wand) is limited in its ability to isolate a single parameter and the TL-slip/peel tester is limited to a linear sample path. A new wipe-sampling instrument, utilizing a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) 3D printer repurposed for its XYZ stage, was developed to address these limitations. This system allowed, for the first time, automated two-dimensional wipe-sampling patterns to be studied while keeping the force and speed of collection constant for the length of the sampling path. This new instrument is not only capable of investigating the same parameters as current technology (wipe materials, test surfaces, forces of collection, and linear sample patterns), it has added capabilities to investigate additional parameters such as directional wipe patterns (i.e. “L” and “U” shapes, square, and serpentine) and allowing for multiple lines to be sampled during a single collection without the need for adjustments by the user. In this work, parametric studies were completed using 1,3,5-trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) and the COTS 3D printer for wipe-sampling to establish collection efficiencies for numerous scenarios. Trace explosives detection in field screening environments could be greatly improved with the ability to comprehensively investigate how a wide range of parameters individually affect collection by wipe-sampling. A screener who knows how to properly interrogate any given surface will be much more efficient at detecting trace explosives.

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Publication details

The article was accepted on 03 Dec 2017 and first published on 04 Dec 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7AY02694C
Citation: Anal. Methods, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    A New Wipe-Sampling Instrument for Measuring the Collection Efficiency of Trace Explosives Residues

    E. L. Robinson, E. Sisco, M. E. Staymates and J. Lawrence, Anal. Methods, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7AY02694C

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