Representative Sample

Definition - What does Representative Sample mean?

A representative sample is a small quantity (subset) of material that reflects the same properties that exist in a larger population. Representative samples are frequently collected and taken to a laboratory for further testing, such as to analyze the results of a particular chemical reaction that the overall population may be expected to undergo.

Corrosionpedia explains Representative Sample

When new materials or chemicals are developed, a small representative sample may be taken and examined in the laboratory. It is forced to undergo the same chemical reactions or be exposed to the same physical conditions that the actual material in service will experience. The results are studied and analyzed to anticipate what will happen to the larger population in a similar situation. For example, a new coating may be applied to a metal substrate and then exposed to humid conditions to test the coating's suitability for use in a marine environment.

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