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NIST Recommended Practice Guide: Particle Size Characterization



Ajitkumar Jillavenkatesa, Lin-Sien H. Lum, Stanley Dapkunas


This guide is a compilation of essential facts and some fundamental information about commonly used techniques of particle size analysis in the ceramics industry. The guide is designed for the non- expert who may have some or little previous knowledge about particle size analysis techniques. The guide covers important aspects of powder sampling and focuses on four techniques of size analysis, including sieving, gravitational sedimentation, microscopy and laser light diffraction, and issues related to reporting of size data. Each techniques of size analysis is addressed in a separate chapter with attention to principles of the technique, strengths and limitations, applicability, general procedures, sources of error and variation. Numerous examples of issues encountered in particle size analysis have been included from various experiments conducted at NIST, including development of Standard Reference Materials, and other interlaboratory tests. Particular effort has been made to include brief descriptions of numerous national and international standards pertaining to these techniques of size analysis and other issues of particle size characterization. A comprehensive glossary of terms relating to particle size and size distribution.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 960-1
Report Number


ceramic powder, gravitational sedimentation, laserlight diffraction, particle size characterization


Jillavenkatesa, A. , Lum, L. and Dapkunas, S. (2001), NIST Recommended Practice Guide: Particle Size Characterization, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 13, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2001, Updated November 10, 2018