In the testing of mineral lubricating oils the viscosity, flash-point, cold-test," and specific gravity are the characters of chief importance.
The first temperature is known as the flash-point, the second as the " fire-test."
It has been found that variations in barometric pressure affect the flash-point and accordingly corrections have to be made in obtaining strictly comparative results at different pressures.
It is still customary to determine the open flash-point and firetest of lubricating oils, but the close flash-point is also usually ascertained, a modification of the Abel or Abel-Pensky apparatus, known as the Pensky-Martens, having been devised for the purpose.
Since the inception of the petroleum industry, most civilized countries have prescribed by law a test of flash-point or inflammability, designed in most cases primarily to afford a definition of oils for lighting purposes which may be safely stored without the adoption of special precautions.