Viscosity increases with density, but oils of the same density often vary greatly; the coefficient of expansion, on the other hand, varies inversely with the density, but bears no simple relation to the change of fluidity of the oil under the influence of heat, this being most marked in oils of paraffin base.
They pass through a viscous stage in cooling from a state of fluidity; they develop effects of colour when the glass mixtures are fused with certain metallic oxides; they are, when cold, bad conductors both of electricity and heat, they are easily fractured by a blow or shock and show a conchoidal fracture; they are but slightly affected by ordinary solvents, but are readily attacked by hydrofluoric acid.
At this stage as a rule some rich slags of a former operation are added and a quantity of quicklime is incorporated, the chief object of which is to diminish the fluidity of the mass in the next stage, which consists in this, that, with closed air-holes, the heat is raised so as to cause the oxide and sulphate on the one hand and the sulphide on the other to reduce each other to metal.
These new conceptions of the multiplicity in unity of disease, and of the fluidity and continuity of morbid processes, might have led to vagueness and over-boldness in speculation and reconstruction, had not the experimental method been at hand with clues and tests for the several series.
Its chief uses are in glass-making to promote fluidity, in metallurgy to oxidize impurities, as a constituent of gunpowder and in pyrotechny; it is also used in the manufacture of nitric acid.