# Expand balloon with static electricity

• Misc.
• smiddleton26
In summary: Sorry, won't work. The charge inside a conducting enclosure is uniform, being uniform there can be no potential difference inside the enclosure.reference: Gauss's Law; Faraday Shield (Gauss's Law being the main one)
smiddleton26
TL;DR Summary
Hey guys, I’m trying a weird project. I could use some help confirming the theory before I start.

I want to see if I can expand an inflated balloon using static electricity.
The idea is to wrap a balloon in several layers of material, similar to that used in electrostatic adhesion wall climbing robots, and run power through the layers. The electrostatic charge on the layers outside the balloon will build up and the air inside the balloon will begin to become polarized and begin to cause the balloon to expand.

Steve

Bystander and PeroK

Welcome to PF.

smiddleton26 said:
I want to see if I can expand an inflated balloon using static electricity.

similar to that used in electrostatic adhesion wall climbing robots
Can you post a link to that? I'm not familar with it. Thanks.

One problem with using electrostatic forces to expand a baloon is that the electrostatic force falls off quickly with distance. So to get the best effect, it would be better to use two parallel planes of material separated by a small distance. Can you alter your setup somehow to make that optimization?

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/elefor.html

smiddleton26 said:
Summary: Hey guys, I’m trying a weird project. I could use some help confirming the theory before I start.

I want to see if I can expand an inflated balloon using static electricity.

The idea is to wrap a balloon in several layers of material, similar to that used in electrostatic adhesion wall climbing robots, and run power through the layers. The electrostatic charge on the layers outside the balloon will build up and the air inside the balloon will begin to become polarized and begin to cause the balloon to expand.

Steve
Sorry, won't work. The charge inside a conducting enclosure is uniform, being uniform there can be no potential difference inside the enclosure.

reference: Gauss's Law; Faraday Shield (Gauss's Law being the main one)

(at least some of the Utube videos are garbage, stick to the mathematical ones if you are up to it)

Cheers,
Tom

smiddleton26 said:
I want to see if I can expand an inflated balloon using static electricity.
...
The electrostatic charge on the layers outside the balloon will build up and the air inside the balloon will begin to become polarized and begin to cause the balloon to expand.
Those crossed over parts turns that sentence to technobabble.
The charge itself has some effect on the balloon, but the forces involved (=> volume change of the balloon) are just minuscule at any practical voltage level.

Last edited:

## 1. How does static electricity expand a balloon?

When you rub a balloon against your hair or a piece of fabric, it creates friction and transfers electrons from one surface to another. This creates an imbalance of charges, with the balloon becoming negatively charged and your hair or the fabric becoming positively charged. The balloon is then attracted to neutral or positively charged objects, causing it to expand.

## 2. Can any type of balloon be expanded with static electricity?

Yes, any type of balloon can be expanded with static electricity as long as it is made of a material that can hold a charge, such as rubber or latex.

## 3. How long does it take to expand a balloon with static electricity?

The time it takes to expand a balloon with static electricity can vary depending on the amount of friction created and the strength of the charge. It can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

## 4. Is it safe to expand a balloon with static electricity?

Yes, it is safe to expand a balloon with static electricity. The charge created is not strong enough to cause harm to humans or animals. However, it is important to avoid getting the balloon too close to your face or hair to prevent it from sticking.

## 5. Can you expand a balloon with static electricity multiple times?

Yes, you can expand a balloon with static electricity multiple times. However, the charge may weaken over time, making it more difficult to expand the balloon with static electricity. To recharge the balloon, simply rub it against a surface again to create more friction and transfer more electrons.

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