Dynamics of Blood Drop Formation and Flight
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Violent crimes involving bloodshed may result in the formation of a number of blood drops that move through air and impact onto a surface producing a bloodstain pattern. Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA), the analysis of the position, distribution, size and morphology of the stains within the pattern present at a crime scene, may provide information about the events that gave rise to the bloodshed. The location of blood origin, i.e. victim’s position at the moment of wounding and (or) wound location, determination is of major interest to BPA. This study investigated the dynamics of formation and flight of blood drops commonly found at a crime scene (so-called passive, cast-off, impact and gunshot drops) with the aim to facilitate blood origin determination. Features of blood drop formation at passive dripping with correlation to dripping surface characteristics were studied experimentally. A numerical scheme for accurate blood drop flight characteristics modelling, including oscillations, deformation and disintegration, was developed and validated against a number of analytical and experimental cases with special attention to the passive blood drop oscillations and ultimate deformation at terminal velocity, cast-off and impact blood drop deformation and breakup features. This provided an efficient and accurate method for typical blood drop flight reconstruction from the blood origin to impact as well as from the bloodstain location to the possible blood origin. Factors affecting blood drop trajectory and blood origin estimation were studied using the developed scheme.