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linseed oil,amber-colored, fatty oil extracted from the cotyledons and inner coats of the linseed. The raw oil extracted from the seeds by hydraulic pressure is pale in color and practically without taste or odor. When boiled or extracted by application of heat and pressure, it is darker and has a bitter taste and an unpleasant odor. Linseed oil has long been used as a drying oil in paints and varnish. It is also used in making linoleum, oilcloth, and certain inks.
a fatty vegetable oil extracted from flaxseed.
Because it undergoes polymerization readily when exposed to atmospheric oxygen, linseed oil dries out rapidly. This property is due to the high level of unsaturated fatty acids: 15-30 percent linoleic, 44-61 percent linolenic, and 13-29 percent oleic acid. The saturated acid content is 9-11 percent. Linseed oil has a kinematic viscosity of 15.5 • 10-6m2/sec at 20°C. Its iodine value is 175-204. Linseed oil is important in the industrial production of quick-drying varnishes, drying oils, liquid driers, and artists’ oil paints. It is also used in food and medicine (ointments and liniments).