1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Need help in replacing flame with something else, along with

  1. Aug 26, 2015 #1
    Hey bros

    I have am idea for Chinese sky lanterns:

    A sky lantern that'll:

    1.) Take off and fly at a steady pace without a flame

    2.) Material will either eventually evaporate in the sky, or shrink down to the size of a quarter.


    So, are either of these possible?

    Input would he fantastic appreciated...

    ...I understands that balloons with helium of course exist, but rather I'm thinking of something that'll make it take off at a nice steady pace.

    Something that'd resemble the slow and assured take off of a flame, you know
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2015 #2

    Bystander

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Just need something that sublimes slowly to a gas that's lighter than air --- and non-flammable --- and carry a battery and LED --- need we go on?
     
  4. Aug 28, 2015 #3

    CWatters

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Perhaps you could just add a water ballast container to a helium balloon so that it starts off neutrally buoyant. Then as the water drips through a hole in the container it gets lighter.
     
  5. Aug 31, 2015 #4
    Bros!



    I think I came up with an idea..



    Within the chinese lantern packaging, there'd be a packet of either helium or hydrogen gas - one of those two - that you'd attach to the lantern, to have it lift off.



    There'd be a button on the packet of helium/hydrogen, where it'd release the gas into the packet. So, you'd out and fully expand the chinese lantern, then attach the packet of gas onto it, then press a button on the packet to release gas into it, which would then set the lantern off into the sky.



    Would that work? Having a packet of floating gas that you'd attach to the lantern, to have the lantern lift off with it? Again, when ready you'd press a button on the packet, which would then interact with it by releasing the needed gas for liftoff.



    Helium is pretty expensive I'm reading, as it's evidently a genuinely rare material that's only found in a handful of spots in the world.



    Hydrogen however, is insanely cheaper. There's risks (flammable,potential leaks etc), but they seem to be irrelevant for this product; there'll be no flame around the lantern, and on the chinese lantern packaging, it'll clearly be labelled to keep contents inside package (to avoid gas leak from packet) until ready to use.



    So, how could we incorporate hydrogen gas into the lantern? Would my hydrogen packet idea work? How could we safely store the hydrogen gas into a packet, that'd start to slowly release for a period of time, through a push of a button?
     
  6. Aug 31, 2015 #5

    CWatters

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Sending up a packet (aka cylinder) of Hydrogen or Helium and a method of controlling it's release would be complicated and heavy.

    Much easier to start with a balloon full of gas and excess water ballast. Then allow the ballast to drain out.
     
  7. Aug 31, 2015 #6

    CWatters

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    PS One reason farmers hate Chinese lanterns is that they contain metal. This can hurt animals that eat it or tangle up in grass cutting machines. What happens if a cow eats a small cylinder of gas :-)
     
  8. Sep 2, 2015 #7
    Alright guys, I think I came up with a solution to all this...





    First, to put things into perspective - I wanted to create replicate sky lanterns, in that it'll be a balloon that'll slowly take off well beyond into the air on a lit voyage. All without actually having a cumbersome flame, along with avoiding any clean-up litter afterwords.



    I thought an attached helium/hydrogen packet would work, but seems like neither would be appropriate, until hydrogen becomes safer or helium becomes cheaper (not in our lifetime).



    However, I just now thought of a possible solution to all of this:


    The bottom of the balloon won't be open at all. To have the balloon take off into the sky, the user will fill it once with helium on the ground, which would have it take off without any reliance on anything as it goes into the sky. So, the material will be folded like a standard deflated balloon, then it'd inflate up and launch into the sky with helium.


    Here are ways in which this could happen:


    1.) The package would include not only the balloons, but it'd also contain a handheld, portable canister of helium - some small device with a valve that contains helium. It'd be good for say, 20 uses or something similar - perhaps even only 5 or 10 uses.


    ^ Could this be possible? Handheld & portable stored helium canisters, that'd be included in the packaging?



    2.) The balloon would eventually pop itself when high in the air, to avoid it deflating and littering.

    ^Does anybody have a clue as to how this could be pulled off?


    However it'd happen, it'd need to avoid littering. I first thought of a timed self-releasing tack that'd be attached to the balloon, but that'd of course end in sharp tacks falling from the sky, so that won't do.


    I thought of attaching a biodegradable packet that'd include some liquid or material that'd pop it - however, having the torn apart fall from the popped balloon would seem redundant.


    What about attaching to the balloon something micro-small, that'l eventually produce enough heat to pop the balloon? Really, I think that's what would need to happen - something that the user would properly stick to the balloon and activate before take off, that would eventually heat up and pop the balloon. A programmed heat that'd pop it way after a long period of it being in the air.



    3.) To have the balloon shine as bright as a flame in a sky lantern in the night sky, I'm thinking that LED light(s), encased in ultra reflective material might do it. The LED light(s) would be stored inside the balloon, so the balloon would inflate and lift off with it already inside.


    ^ Could this work? What are some ways to have it brightly flash to brightly illuminate the entire balloon, so it could be seen from the ground, when it's off in the sky?


    4.) Material. What material could inflate from helium, aside from latex?


    In other words, I need to have it blow up into shapely objects (the draw for this product will be out these sky lights will mainly serve as a seasonal gift - sky lanterns based off halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, valentine's day, etc. etc objects).


    Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  9. Sep 3, 2015 #8

    CWatters

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Is helium that expensive? Here in UK a cylinder of Helium enough for 30 balloons is about £20 or $30. So $1 a balloon and that's retail prices.
     
  10. Sep 4, 2015 #9

    Hmm well yeah, perhaps we'd base operations in Europe.

    I'm going to revolutionize the industry by making sky lanterns that'll be various objects - seasonal, pop culture, etc.

    It's just that they litter and are possibly dangerous, so I'm coming up with a way to erase any potential controversy:

    1.) portable canister of helium - small device with a valve that contains helium. It'd be good for say, 20 uses or something similar - perhaps even only 5 or 10 uses.

    2.) Self-popping itself when high in the air, to avoid it deflating and littering. attaching to the balloon something micro-small, that'l eventually produce enough heat to pop the balloon is an option.

    3.) LED light(s) to have the balloon shine as bright as a flame in a sky lantern in the night sky, havint the lights encased in ultra reflective material might do it.

    I need to come up with material that'd inflate from helium, but also shape into pop culture characters and objects
     
  11. Sep 4, 2015 #10
    So really, the material sounds to be the biggest issue..


    For the material, I need to think of something that could vanish in the sky...


    If the material was latex (like a traditional balloon), then there could be a thousand possibilities where we'd attach something to make it self-pop...

    ...However, it's pretty much impossible to create a decent pop culture character out of a latex balloon.


    Preferably, something that resembles this material:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Bouncy.castle.arp.jpg

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Inf...ChMIq-rN_dLcxwIVkpSICh2ddwuv&biw=1366&bih=643

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/08/Union-rat.jpg


    Something like those ^

    But what the hell could make it vanish in the air, after a period of time?

    If the material was some paper material, then we could attach some timed-release liquid that would dissolve it..Could that be possible? How?

    Help would be FANTASTICALLY appreciated
     
  12. Sep 5, 2015 #11
    I think I've decided that there'd be a portable canister of helium that'd come packaged with the balloons would be used once to light it off.



    The material would be water dissolving paper - paper that'd biodegrade incredibly easily, easily within a day or less.

    The balloon would have an ultra bright LED light (powered by a micro watch battery) that's surrounded by a reflective material to make it extra bright...So it can be brightly be seen from the ground.

    That could work as a mass producing product, right? I'd like to start by doing holidays first, so a lot of these would be holiday characters and items, but the possibilities would be endless.



    I believe I don't even need to have the balloon disappear in the sky, if the material is going to be instantly biodegradable - dissolving paper would be amongst the fastest biodegradable material on earth.





    So, if I patched together this dissolving paper to make a character (santa clause etc), would filling helium inside it blow it up to a proportional character? Would there need to be anything else that'd be required to make his arms, legs, head etc inflate out?



    I'd imagine that at the bottom of every balloon, there'd be a spot to fill in helium, to have it inflate out and lift off.



    here's some examples of dissolving paper:

    http://www.daymarktechnologies.com/categories/Dissolving-Paper/7/1

    http://www.sulky.com/item/sulky-paper-solvy-stabilizer-white-85-x-11-pkg-12-sheets

    http://www.dissolvo.com/water-soluble-paper/



    this site has colored dissolving paper:

    http://www.aquasolpaper.com/
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Need help in replacing flame with something else, along with
Loading...