Research workers in the fine particle field often spend weeks or months preparing samples of particulate material for their research. The material may have special characteristics with respect to particle size, size distribution, density, and other properties. A large part of the sample preparation involves determining the properties of the sample. When a particular investigation is concluded, the samples may be of no further use to the man who prepared them but may be of considerable use to others working in the fine particle field. Early in 1956 the Institute established a particle bank to serve as a depository for such samples and to make them available to any investigator who might need them.
This paper describes the response to the original questionnaires that were sent out prior to the establishment of the bank, types of samples which have been submitted, and numbers and types of requests for samples that have been received. A number of the samples for the particle bank have been analyzed for particle size or particle size distribution by different methods, and the comparative data are supplied.
Judging from the activity of the bank, it is filling a real need in the fine particle field and it is expected that its usefulness will increase as it becomes better known and as a larger supply of samples is accumulated through future years.