JRC scientists have recently published a paper providing an overview of existing types of reference materials and introducing a new class of "representative test materials (RTM)". The term became necessary for establishing temporary benchmarks for measurements of new material properties.
It paves the way forward in case that no reference material exists for the new target properties, but that there is a suitable material with established homogeneity and stability for other properties. The JRC paper highlights the special relevance of this term for new and emerging technology domains, such as nanotechnology, where basic measurement issues still need to be solved.
Read more in: G. Roebben et al.: "Reference materials and representative test materials: the nanotechnology case", J. Nanopart. Res. 15, 1455 (2013)