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Analysis of duct tapes by thermal desorption and pyrolysis mass spectrometry and X-ray-fluorescence spectroscopy


The identification of pressure-sensitive tapes such as duct tape and electrical tape is an important forensic application. Here we show the application of thermal desorption and pyrolysis combined with Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) mass spectrometry to distinguish between manufacturers and brands of duct tapes. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) provides complementary information about the atomic composition of the different tapes.


Seven duct tape samples were analyzed by mass spectrometry and six by XRF: two Ace® Hardware tapes (one black and one gray), two 3M Scotch® duct tapes (one gray and one white), Rite-Aid® gray duct tape, Gorilla® black duct tape and Loctite Sumo black duct tape (not available when the other tapes were analyzed by XRF).

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