A Balloon Filled With Helium Gas


We’ve all let go of a latex helium balloon, whether intentionally or by accident, but what happens once that helium balloon soars out of our vision?

Why does a helium balloon float?

Dec 11, 2018 Small balloons can be filled with helium gas at most party stores. For large supplies of helium, you’ll need to go to a wholesale helium supplier or even a national helium supplier. Kit includes helium tank with 8.9 ft3 helium/air mixture, 30 assorted color 9” latex balloons and white ribbon Inflate balloons immediately before event; average float time is 5-7 hours Twist open the green valve counterclockwise 4 full turns, slide a balloon onto the black nozzle and press nozzle down to start helium flow to fill the balloon. Use our Helium Balloon Chart to estimate how much Helium Gas is required to fill a Latex Balloon, Mylar Foil Balloon or multiple the output yourself to determine what’s required for that snazzy Balloon Bouquet Cluster you’re going to create. Below are approximations, and actual results may vary based on many conditions (indoor/outdoor use.

A filled helium balloon rises because of the simple fact that helium is lighter than air.

A Balloon Filled With Helium Gas Has An Average Density

What happens to the helium balloon as it rises?

As altitude increases, the density of the atmosphere decreases. So as a latex helium balloon rises, the outside air pressure diminishes, while the pressure from inside of the balloon remains the same. This causes the elastic material of the latex helium balloon to expand.

As the latex expands, the helium balloon increases in volume, thereby increasing its buoyancy. The more a balloon’s material can safely expand, the higher it will rise.

If you need helium for your balloons, go here and get a free helium quote from Zephyr.

A Balloon Filled With Helium Gas

How high can a helium balloon go?

A Balloon Filled With Helium Gas

This depends largely on the material of the helium balloon. One made of a stronger latex will be able to expand (and ascend) more than one that is made of a weaker latex.

How to clean my phone memory. In a 1992 study of a test of toy balloons for the Federal Department of Aviation, researchers found that latex helium balloons can rise to an altitude of 5.7 miles to 6.6 miles before popping.

What happens when the helium balloon pops?

Inflate a helium balloon indoors until it pops and you’ll be left with relatively large pieces of rubber. Do it 5 miles up in the air and something quite different happens.

When a latex helium balloon reaches the low temperatures within that 5-6 mile altitude range, it will actually freeze. The elasticity of latex decreases significantly in low temperatures, so the helium balloon that was expanding suddenly becomes incredibly brittle.

A Balloon Is Filled With Helium Gas

What happens next is not the traditional pop that you and I are used to seeing, but instead something simply called “shattering.” The helium balloon breaks in a manner that is similar to smashing a mirror, and all that is left are very small pieces of cold latex that sprinkle back down to the planet.


(It’s said that these shattered pieces are too small to pose any threats to animals because they are easily passed through the system if ingested.)


Of course, there are exceptions. Variables that can throw a hitch in these rules include poorly manufactured or flawed latex, latex that is unable to expand significantly or expands too quickly, helium balloons that are not fully inflated, or the altitude and climate of the place from which the balloon was released.

What about a foil helium balloon?

Due to their shattering capability, professionals will only use 100% biodegradable latex balloons during intentional releases so that large pieces of material are not left littering the ground or water. This latex biodegrades in the same amount of time as a fallen leaf.

A Balloon Filled With Helium Gas Has A Volume

But accidental or unprofessional releases of other balloons like foil do happen.

In the same 1992 study referenced earlier, mylar balloons rose only to about 3,280 feet, with some reaching a maximum of 1.5 miles, where they would eventually either burst open or simply “lose their lift” and glide back down to Earth.

Source: Test of toy balloons performed for Federal Department of Aviation via balloonhq.com