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Comparison of New Ampac Bags and FireDebrisPAK® Bags as Packaging for Fire Debris Analysis


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Rafal Borusiewicz, Ph.D.
Institute of Forensic Research
Westerplatte 9
31-033 Krakow


Abstract:  The FireDebrisPAK® bags that were produced by Kapak were considered to be one of the best containers for fire debris. Kapak bags were discontinued; however, from July 2010, Ampac is offering a new packaging material. The aim of the presented research was to compare the properties (durability, background interferences, and permeability) of Kapak bags and packaging material offered by Ampac. The analysis was conducted by passive adsorption from the headspace with subsequent thermal desorption and analysis by GC-MS. The results proved that the properties of the compared materials are similar. Their greatest advantage is that they are impermeable for components of flammable liquids, so there is no danger of losing analytes or cross-contamination. Their one significant drawback is that they should not be exposed to temperatures above 80°C. At this temperature, they become soft, their inner layer is compromised (becomes sticky), and they emit some volatile organic compounds. Among them, there are compounds that constitute the components of some of flammable liquids.

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