By P H Ogden
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Additional info for Chemicals in the oil industry : Developments and applications
25. They do not melt when heated but swell and decompose (intumesce).
In terms of measurement, sar is a word of mixed origin and appears to mean an interwoven or wickerwork basket. Thus, an approximate translation is that the inside of the boat was smeared (coated, caulked) with six baskets full of pitch and the outside of the boat was smeared (coated, caulked) with three baskets full of pitch. There are also indications from these texts that that asphalt mastic was sold by volume (by the gur). On the other hand, bitumen was sold by weight (by the mina or shekel ).
The burning sensation in the eyes was too much for the French sailors and the English prevailed with the capture of much booty (Powicke, 1962). The combustion properties of bitumen (and its fractions) were known in Biblical times. There is the reference to these properties (Isaiah 34:9) when it is stated that: And the stream thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and for ever.
Chemicals in the oil industry : Developments and applications by P H Ogden