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Charred Cotton Fiber and Tar from a House Fire View through a Microscope

Coked Cotton Fiber and Tar from a House Fire

This is a piece of coked cotton fiber and residual tar from wire insulation that resulted from high temperature but lack of oxygen in a house fire. The characteristic twist is still preserved in the charred fiber. It was collected as part of a tapelift study of a home after remediation.

Transmitted Off Crossed Polarized Light and Reflected Darkfield Illumination


Significance in the Environment:

Coked cotton fiber in a home may be from the top of an incondescent light bulb or a product of a fire where the amount of oxygen present is too low to oxidize the carbon in the fiber. In this case there were many such fibers as a result of a fire in the home. The wireing in this home was insulated with cotton/tar insulation and much of it burned in the area damaged by this fire.

Characteristic Features:

Associated Particles: