Vaccum pockets

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Would it be possible for an object with pockets of trapped vacuum space be able to float just the way air pockets do as it is less dense?

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Yes.

A simple explanation, the ability to float relies on a difference in density. As long as the object with a vacuum internally has a lower density than the surrounding medium, it will float.
 
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Would it be possible for an object with pockets of trapped vacuum space be able to float just the way air pockets do as it is less dense?

Thanks
Be aware that such a scenario requires material to contain the vacuum.
That material has weight.
I'll leave it to you to go from there.
 
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Thanks light bulb moment, the weight of the material need to resist the compressive forces around the vacuum far outweigh any reduced density you achieve from it
 
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Thanks light bulb moment, the weight of the material need to resist the compressive forces around the vacuum far outweigh any reduced density you achieve from it
Good job!!
 

DaveC426913

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Yep. In theory, with a material that is strong enough you could create a chamber using so little material that it is bouyant. (Or more accurately, its total mass is less than that of the same volume of air.)

Problem is, it would surely be extremely delicate. The slightest bump would likely cause it to deform and implode.

This is why hydrogen makes such a great runner-up. It's the lightest element known that can provide an atmospheric pressure so that the walls don't even need to be rigid. Just that darn combustibility...
 
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This is why hydrogen makes such a great runner-up. It's the lightest element known that can provide an atmospheric pressure so that the walls don't even need to be rigid. Just that darn combustibility...
And cost. Hydrogen is expensive, and leaks through common membranes.
Heated air seems to produce simlar bouyancy effects with a reduced TOTAL cost???

Just asking... not sure.
 

Drakkith

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And cost. Hydrogen is expensive, and leaks through common membranes.
Heated air seems to produce simlar bouyancy effects with a reduced TOTAL cost???

Just asking... not sure.
Heated air becomes less dense, causing it to rise in the air. This is how hot air balloons work. You just have to heat it which CAN be less expensive.
 

Ryan_m_b

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Helium is the next lightest and has the nice feature of not being so flammable!

Out of interest does anybody know how we could work out the necessary material properties of a vacuum containing balloon?
 
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You mean to contain the vacuum or its lift/bouyancy
 

SpectraCat

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Helium is the next lightest and has the nice feature of not being so flammable!

Out of interest does anybody know how we could work out the necessary material properties of a vacuum containing balloon?
Well, it must be non-porous, so that there is no gas transport across it. It must have sufficient compressive and shear strength (I think those are the right terms) to withstand the pressure difference of 15 psi (1 atm) pushing from outside to the inside. "Balloon" seems like the wrong word, since balloons have an opposite pressure differential ...
 

Ryan_m_b

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Well, it must be non-porous, so that there is no gas transport across it. It must have sufficient compressive and shear strength (I think those are the right terms) to withstand the pressure difference of 15 psi (1 atm) pushing from outside to the inside. "Balloon" seems like the wrong word, since balloons have an opposite pressure differential ...
Good ideas. I was wondering what physical properties our material would need in terms of tensile strength etc. I use the word balloon only in the sense of if it would be possible to make a buoyant vacuum pockets
 

DaveC426913

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Good ideas. I was wondering what physical properties our material would need in terms of tensile strength etc. I use the word balloon only in the sense of if it would be possible to make a buoyant vacuum pockets
You can start by examining how a common egg gets its compressive strength. It is structurally equivalent to a stone archway with no endpoints.
 

phinds

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Thanks light bulb moment, the weight of the material need to resist the compressive forces around the vacuum far outweigh any reduced density you achieve from it
The standard experiment to show that this is likely to be true with normal materials is to put a little water in a good-sized tin can (say a 2-gallon gas can) with a small top, heat the water until it has all become steam and driven out the air, and then close the can and watch the can implode.
 

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