What is the flash-point of an oil and what dies it indicate?

The flash-point is the lowest temperature at which an oil will give off suffi¬cient inflammable vapour to produce a flash when a small flame is brought to the surface of the oil. The flash-point may be measured as an open or closed
flash-point figure. Fuels for use aboard ships are tested in a Pensky-Martens instrument which measures the closed flash-point. The Department of Trade & Industry sets the lower limit of 65 °C for the flash-point of fuels used aboard merchant vessels and also stipulates that fuel in storage tanks must be kept at temperatures at least 14eC lower than its flash-point. The flash-point of an oil gives no indication of its suitability for use in a diesel engine. It only serves as a guide to the temperature below which it can be stored and handled with reasonable safety. A knowledge of the flash-point of the lubricating oil used in the crankcase of a diesel engine is useful, since lowering of the flash-point inducates that the lubricant may be contaminated with fuel.

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