Science: Soggy Metals

Solid metals are porous and, as every chemistry student learns, absorb gases. Metals also absorb oils, a recent observation. The implications of this for lubrication were last week unfolded to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers by Leon Cammen and William Francis Parish. Manhattan consulting engineer. They sopped oil on a centrifuge invented by Elmer Ambrose Sperry (gyroscopes). No matter how many times they wiped the speeding whirligig dry, more oil appeared. These emerging layers of oil are the true lubricators, declare Messrs. Cammen & Parish. For each metal there seems...

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