# Is a latex balloon's maximum strain independent of thickness?

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• morganj2003
In summary: The conversation is discussing the potential for creating a smaller deflated and larger inflated latex balloon by increasing the thickness of the latex. However, it is mentioned that the maximum strain of the latex may be independent of its thickness, making it difficult to achieve the desired size. The possibility of using a different material with a higher maximum strain is also mentioned. It is also noted that defects in the latex could affect its ability to stretch. Overall, it may be challenging to create a balloon that meets the desired specifications. In summary, the conversation discusses the potential limitations of using latex to create a balloon with a desired size and the possibility of using a different material with a higher maximum strain.

#### morganj2003

Is latex balloon maximum strain independent of latex thickness?

I have been in search of a latex balloon that is relatively small when deflated and very large when fully inflated. Standard balloons that reach the desired inflated dimensions are much larger deflated than I would like. Specifically, I would like a balloon that can reach inflated radius of ~3'. Although, I want the balloon's deflated radius not to exceed 3".

Since I could not find an off-the-shelf balloon meeting the above requirement, I considered making my own balloon from latex. Perhaps if the latex was formed to create a balloon with ~3x the standard latex wall thickness, which would increase the maximum allowed internal pressure, I could meet my requirement. If the maximum strain of latex is independent of latex thickness, though, I don't think I will ever meet my requirement. A thicker balloon will require more pressure to stretch to a given dimension, but the maximum strain (stretch) before popping will remain unchanged. Is this true?

Maybe someone is aware of a material with much higher maximum strain than latex?

Thanks!

The strains are determined by the kinematics. If you assume a spherical balloon, going from 3" to 3' requires an isotropic stretch of 12 x in each in-plane direction of the latex. So the total area increases by a factor of 144. This means that the of the latex decreases by a factor of 144. Is a sheet of latex capable of sustaining isotropic in-plane stretches of 12x in each direction while decreasing in thickness by 144x? That would have to be determined experimentally.

Thickness is independent in a perfect world (defect free film). To get 1200% elongation with this material is (to pardon the pun) a bit of a stretch. Softening the cure system will increase elongation but at the expense of tensile strength (and possibly elasticity). Removing defects is key - a double dip could help eliminate pinholes but a thicker film could increase the possibility of defects

nr8209 said:
Thickness is independent in a perfect world (defect free film). To get 1200% elongation with this material is (to pardon the pun) a bit of a stretch. Softening the cure system will increase elongation but at the expense of tensile strength (and possibly elasticity). Removing defects is key - a double dip could help eliminate pinholes but a thicker film could increase the possibility of defects
You realize that this thread is 2 years old, and that the OP hasn't been on Physics Forums since then?

Chestermiller said:
You realize that this thread is 2 years old, and that the OP hasn't been on Physics Forums since then?
No and no. I was looking something up and came across this thread so thought I would contribute

## 1. What is the maximum strain of a latex balloon?

The maximum strain of a latex balloon refers to the maximum amount of stretch or expansion that the balloon can undergo before breaking. It is typically measured as a percentage of the balloon's original size.

## 2. Is the maximum strain of a latex balloon the same for all thicknesses?

No, the maximum strain of a latex balloon is not independent of thickness. Thicker balloons are able to withstand more strain before breaking compared to thinner balloons.

## 3. How does the thickness of a latex balloon affect its maximum strain?

The thickness of a latex balloon directly affects its maximum strain. Thicker balloons have a higher maximum strain because they have more material and are able to withstand more force before breaking.

## 4. What other factors can affect the maximum strain of a latex balloon?

Aside from thickness, the material used and the quality of the manufacturing process can also affect the maximum strain of a latex balloon. Balloons made from lower quality materials or with subpar manufacturing may have a lower maximum strain.

## 5. Can the maximum strain of a latex balloon be increased?

Yes, the maximum strain of a latex balloon can be increased by using thicker material or by improving the manufacturing process to produce a stronger balloon. However, there is a limit to how much the maximum strain can be increased, as the balloon will eventually reach its breaking point.