Experimental determination of size distributions: Analyzing proper sample sizes

A. Buffo*, V. Alopaeus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
241 Downloads (Pure)


The measurement of various particle size distributions is a crucial aspect for many applications in the process industry. Size distribution is often related to the final product quality, as in crystallization or polymerization. In other cases it is related to the correct evaluation of heat and mass transfer, as well as reaction rates, depending on the interfacial area between the different phases or to the assessment of yield stresses of polycrystalline metals/alloys samples. The experimental determination of such distributions often involves laborious sampling procedures and the statistical significance of the outcome is rarely investigated. In this work, we propose a novel rigorous tool, based on inferential statistics, to determine the number of samples needed to obtain reliable measurements of size distribution, according to specific requirements defined a priori. Such methodology can be adopted regardless of the measurement technique used.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045301
Number of pages6
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • size distribution
  • sample size
  • statistical significance
  • LDA


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