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Durable balloon material?

  1. Dec 14, 2014 #1
    I'm trying to make a blimp robot, I want to get into the drone-building hobby but right now a quadrotor is too expensive, plus I want to be a bit more original.

    I need something that I can make the balloon out of that won't leak (so I don't have to refill it often) and reasonably durable, enough to resist, say, accidentally being blown into a tree branch (though it's probably mostly going to be used indoors or on very calm days).

    Thank you for any help :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2014 #2


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    Because of the square-cube relation, very small balloons or blimps are too heavy...
  4. Dec 14, 2014 #3


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    Theses look like they're made out of the same material that regular helium balloons are:
  5. Dec 14, 2014 #4
    I don't mean tiny. The project I have in mind would be a few feet in length, and...

    ...something of that size is exactly what I would have in mind, perhaps a little a bit larger (to support the weight of the electronics).
  6. Dec 14, 2014 #5


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    Make sure that whatever material you choose is helium-rated, as billy_joule alluded to. Helium sneaks out between the molecules of most substances. (I assume that's what you're using for lift.)
  7. Dec 14, 2014 #6
    Yes, that's what I meant by "won't leak". Any recommendations?
  8. Dec 14, 2014 #7


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    I think you are looking for what a lot of people are looking for.

    Unfortunately, as NTW points out. on the scale of a few feet, the lift is so small that the materials need to be ultra-light-weight - like a few grams - which is why current helium-buoyant devices are stuck with fragile materials.

    If you found a material that were ultra-light-weight AND durable, you could drop your personal project and have people beating a path to your door to throw money at you for the material alone.
  9. Dec 14, 2014 #8


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    Sorry; I wasn't sure whether you meant to not leak helium, or just air in general. They're vastly different things. Mylar, as in party balloons (aluminized pvc) works well. I'm not sure what forms it is available in, but one that I know of for sure because I owned one is a compact survival blanket.
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