Where are the vacuum balloons?

I am interested in making a vacuum balloon. I have been looking around and I can't find a single vacuum balloon that floated. If anyone has any links, pictures, videos, or suggestions they would be very helpful. The closest I found is this and it collapsed just before it floated.http://s113.photobucket.com/albums/n219/coreview2/?action=view&current;=VB03.jpg

Question by Danjor   |  last reply


Can a vacuum balloon be built with current material technologies? Answered

A balloon's bouyancy (lifting force) is a function of how much air it displaces. Today's balloons use hot air, hydrogen, helium and other lighter than air gases for lift. In 1670 Franceso de Lana, an italian monk, proposed the use of a vacuum. One major problem is how to make the structure light enough to support a vacuum without collapsing in on itself due to the outside pressure.

Question by sansoy   |  last reply


Robotic Gripper Runs on Coffee and Balloons - Updated with video

I'm just on FIAH with these Topics. But this one's cool too. Via ScienceDaily: A collaboration between researchers from Cornell, University of Chicago, and iRobot has resulted in a robot gripper that conforms to practically any object. From the article: Here's how it works: An everyday party balloon filled with ground coffee -- any variety will do -- is attached to a robotic arm. The coffee-filled balloon presses down and deforms around the desired object, and then a vacuum sucks the air out of the balloon, solidifying its grip. When the vacuum is released, the balloon becomes soft again, and the gripper lets go. This sounds like another hi-tech device that could easily be duplicated by a DIYer. All you need is a balloon, coffee grounds, and a vacuum pump. Update 2 November: Found the video! It gives a much better idea of how the thing works. Via, image from same.

Topic by CameronSS   |  last reply


Has anyone seen and have an opinion on the tv show Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman?

Specifically, when I watch the show, I end up with more questions then are being answered.  Today, he was speaking of the Big Bang, and the many theories involved lately.  He stated that the uniformity of the universe seems odd coming from an explosion that could only produce a random pattern. Then this was illustrated by dropping a balloon full of paint onto a canvas.   WHAT?  The balloon itself would disturb the distribution of the paint so that was not a very good illustration.  If they could drop a "round bulk drop" of paint with no "containers" around it, into a vacuum onto a canvas; and if the same thing happened, I'd be more convinced that one "needs" inflation to make things uniform (I am not arguing against inflation theory, but rather that it is needed for uniformity).  This is merely one example of the many questions I came up with in the first 20 minutes of the one hour show. I had to shut it off...at least for now to stop the explosion of things going through my head.  Any thoughts and ideas and concerns are welcome.  Here is the show....       

Topic by Goodhart   |  last reply


Composites! My recommended source for resins, glasses etc.

First, I am not affiliated with this company at all. But, the HPV team I am on has used this company as a supplier for glass and epoxy resin the past two years with excellent success :) Even the gentlemen from Lockheed Martin that has helped us greatly was pleased with the resin.http://www.uscomposites.com/ http://www.uscomposites.com/epoxy.html <-- the resin (their brand - west systems is great, just expensive)We used the medium hardener/epoxy which gave us a pot life around 20+ minutes at 75ish degrees F and cured overnight or so. I highly recommend the pump attachments to make measuring an exact science.With one exception, every batch we made came out perfect. That exception was a set of test samples that took four days under heat lamps to cure. We think that there wasn't enough hardener to kick properly. The stuff was used to make HPV fairings for the past two years with a K-mat core. The picture here is last year's fairing that got vacuum bagged.Funny story, the gentleman that assisted us (with his experience) apparently knows Burt Rattan - you know, the man that built SpaceShipOne. The window idea was just an off the cuff joke we had that eventually made its way into solid works and ProE -- and then when no other window design was thought up it was cut out :PWhen I remember where we got it, I'll post our source for Micro Balloons (air encapsulated in glass) and K-mat (square scored foam core backed with a very thin layer of glass weave).Going from memory - the fairing below used 3mm Kmat core with S-class woven glass (can't remember weight). We might have used E-class glass too (not sure) because we have a roll of it from last year. Flanges (not shown) are used to support the upper canopy in place. They are made from glass with a "coremat" core. The lower removable section also has a flange to hold screw bosses - this was made from the same "coremat" setup.The whole thing was layed up on a male plug that was made from Styrofoam that was cut on a waterjet in 1 inch thicknesses - glued together - sanded - filled - glassed (to get it nice and smooth) and then covered with a wax mold release. When everything was layed up, a vacuum bag was cut for it and I believed they pulled 10psi (they went higher and the foam started collapsing).Now you may think I'm sharing trade secrets or something. Maybe so - but the experience we had access to was so helpful (this stuff looks a lot easier than it really is). I'm told that enclosed rear wheel was pretty difficult -- and it got quite a bit of attention at the competition :PAs I find more pictures and videos from past projects -- I'll post what I've learned. If you have any questions, I'll try to answer. Just keep in mind I'm not an expert :PPS: Next time you ride Dr. Doom at Universal Studios, Orlando -- look up at the decorations and such on the ride. Our experienced friend did all of those - yes, those pyramid/circular thingamabobs are fiberglass (he still has the molds :P). He came in 100lbs underweight ;)

Topic by trebuchet03   |  last reply