Previous work has suggested that the adhesion between oil and metallic surfaces of an engine could be an important factor in determining crankcase cleanliness. It can be shown that it is only necessary to measure the spreading pressure of an oil on metal in order to get a direct measure of the work of adhesion, Surface tensions of lubrictaing oils vary very little and it can be assumed that the critical film pressure (C.F.P.) obtained with a given apparatus is an acceptable measure of the work of adhesion as well as of the spreading pressure. Oils of similar properties may vary tenfold in their C.F.P's. The addition of additives influences the spreading pressure, the largest increments in C.F.P. being given by dispersant and detergent additives.
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