Browse Publications Technical Papers 2002-01-0542
2002-03-04

Identification and Interpretation of Directional Indicators in Contact-Damaged Paint Films - Applications in Motor Vehicle Accident Reconstruction 2002-01-0542

Virtually every motor vehicle on the road today has large portions of its exterior coated with some type of protective, decorative finish-materials that are collectively known as “paint”. What many observers dismiss as a vanity feature are actually complex, laminated structures that respond to damage events in a limited- and predictable number of ways. In doing so, these laminates of non-crystalline solid layers develop a finite range of recognizable failure patterns.
The majority of motor vehicle accidents do create damage to at least one of the painted exterior surfaces of the involved vehicle. The informed accident investigation and reconstruction professional who can identify the patterns within these damage features, and interpret them correctly, has an added tool for determining the relative motions between the vehicle, and the event which produced the damage.

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