| Share

Canada balsam

Canada balsam, yellow, oily, resinous exudation obtained from the balsam fir. It is an oleoresin (see resin) with a pleasant odor but a biting taste. It is a turpentine rather than a true balsam. On standing, the essential oil in Canada balsam evaporates, leaving behind the resin as a hard, transparent varnish. Canada balsam is valued as an optical mounting cement, e.g., for lenses and microscope slides, since it yields, when dissolved in an equal volume of xylene, a noncrystallizing cement with a refractive index nearly equal to that of ordinary glass. It is used also in paints and polishes.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Canada balsam from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Organic Chemistry

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring