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How can I make a giant version of a latex (rubber) balloon? Answered

I wanted to make a giant balloon to tie onto myself and jump up and down really high. I suppose a pogostick does the same thing, but a giant balloon seems cool as well.



8 years ago

1. Buy a weather balloon

2. Use a lot of smaller balloons

3. Get several gallons of liquid dipping latex, it will be treated with ammonia to make it sticky and coagulate better (It stinks), a large tank in which to make the Balloon, the tank MUST include circulating machinery or the latex will clump up and set in the tank, Get a suitably sized former, for balloons these are generally ovoid or spoon shaped, Varnished wood would do just to make one or two,

Dip the former into a Casein solution, this will act as a coagulant for the latex, dry, Dip into latex to coat the former, repeat coagulant and latex until rubber is thick enough, 3 or 4 mm at least for helium. Dry for several hours in an oven at around 130 deg C to cure the rubber. peel off and test for holes etc, repeat as necessary

Do you really want to do this?

I spent 6 months of my life making party balloons or rather monitoring a machine that did this.


8 years ago

If the balloon is tied to you, then eventually you will come back down with it next to, or above, you rather than under you. If you've gone "really high".... ouch.

And given experience with inflatable bouncers ("kiddy castles" and the like), I suspect you'd get less lift out of one of these than you expect. Higher pressure would help, but you're not going to get high pressure out of a balloon; you'd need something significantly thicker.

You can buy large plastic balls (eg http://www.amazon.com/Sport-Fun-Big-Bounce-Ball/dp/B00004SB9W)

Though I think I'd investigate trampolines.


Answer 8 years ago

A man lifting kite may be your answer - there are plenty of 5 meter + para foils out there