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Old 27-12-2017, 09:08 AM
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loonerdude44 loonerdude44 is offline
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Default Inflatables filled with hydrogen?
I'm aware that helium cannot make inflatables float due to the inflatables being made of vinyl and vinyl being more dense than latex (and there's a lot more of it), but has anybody tried filling one with hydrogen (and keeping it away from all sources of heat)? A tiny spark would be enough to make it go boom (if you like that, do it, if you don't then don't do it, I'll be on the latter side of that) so you'll have to be careful. You can make hydrogen through water electrolysis (look it up), I've done it before but on a very small scale. Anybody tried it or wants to?
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Old 27-12-2017, 04:19 PM
Big Balloons! Big Balloons! is offline
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Post Re: Inflatables filled with hydrogen?
Interesting idea - I'd love to have an inflatable that could float. I think it really depends on the inflatable because some big ones might do it with helium, just like a bigger balloon lifts more because of the greater volume. Not tried myself.

I've found some videos on the topic which show some good results:
  • HHO - this one shows that HHO is light enough to lift both latex and heavier foil balloons, not sure about inflatables. Still flammable.
  • Hydrogen alligator - this inflatable doesn't float, but I think this may be because the size and quality of it.
  • Sex doll filled with helium - it seems to float with helium, however it is aided by some small balloons
  • Swan filled with helium - not floating. In another video on that channel he tries to lift himself (unsuccessfully, probably due to underinflating balloons) and ties some to the swan to lift it.

I think it could work, but I'd probably tie some balloons to the inflatable to give extra lift. Maybe it would work best with an inflatable that hasn't got such a thick layer?

Unrelated, but this is what makes me like mylar balloons because they can be like inflatables but can float with helium better (though the limits of only really being party balloons, not many big character shapes
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Old 27-12-2017, 04:42 PM
Bubble Boy :-P Bubble Boy :-P is offline
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Default Re: Inflatables filled with hydrogen?
I'm not trying to burst anyone's bubble....but im not so sure it would work... While I've always dreamt of having a floating inflatable though.... The thing is pvc is porous when looked at under a microscope. The reason they hold air so well is the fact that the air molecule is quite big compared to the hydrogen molecule. Think of the inflatable as a big fishing net & the air molecules being the fish in the net. Since the hydrogen molecule is a much smaller fish its gonna go right through the net. So if one was going to blow up a perfectly new inflatable with hydrogen the gas would leak through the actual skin of the inflatable as they are not impervious to lighter than air gases the way Mylar/foil, latex & neoprene balloons are.

That being said, I've never tried it before & I'm going on pure theory & insight. But i love being proven wrong!
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Old 27-12-2017, 07:03 PM
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craggy2012 craggy2012 is offline
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Default Re: Inflatables filled with hydrogen?
Helium simply diffuses through latex and vinyl after a few days. As above helium molecules are simply too small compared with air (oxygen, nitrogen and the rest that makes up the air around us).

I think Mythbusters did attempt to float a dinghy using helium though. It was certainly lighter than being inflated with air, but they still couldn’t get it to float.
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Old 27-12-2017, 07:09 PM
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wildheart wildheart is offline
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Default Re: Inflatables filled with hydrogen?
I wouldn't feel comfortable with that much hydrogen inside an easily broken pressure vessel. That said, hydrogen doesn't burn on its own, it needs oxygen as well so it can't explode. It would just go up in flame if it was ignited. As everyone has said, I highly doubt it would float.
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Old 27-12-2017, 09:59 PM
bagpopper bagpopper is offline
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Default Re: Inflatables filled with hydrogen?
Originally Posted by Big Balloons! View Post
  • HHO - this one shows that HHO is light enough to lift both latex and heavier foil balloons, not sure about inflatables. Still flammable.
WARNING: DO NOT DO THIS WITH INFLATABLES! HHO, unlike pure hydrogen, is extremely explosive, even the tiniest spark will make your toy explode, not just pop and burn, really explode (life-threatening injuries WILL be the consequence). Even the static electricity by rubbing the toy against some textile can be enough to blow up the HHO gas. Please, if you want to use hydrogen, use pure hydrogen and take the necessary precautions.
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Old 28-12-2017, 03:42 AM
scuba scuba is offline
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Default Re: Inflatables filled with hydrogen?
That actually sounds quite interesting.
I don't know if I'm wrong, but I have once read that hydrogen doesn't leak as easily through latex as helium because the molecules are linked two and two.
You have to be really careful still because hydrogen is really flammable, but I if you play on water with clothes on that doesn't create static electricity it might work. The inflatable item just have to be really huge. You need to find one that is able to hold a lot of gas to get it to fly.
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Old 28-12-2017, 04:56 AM
blowhyoooge blowhyoooge is offline
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Default Re: Inflatables filled with hydrogen?
sounds like a way to earn a darwin award!!!!!
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Old 28-12-2017, 07:25 AM
JR Looner JR Looner is offline
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Smile Re: Inflatables filled with hydrogen?
Indeed this sounds like something I would watch through Binoculars or a Telescope and 'Roflmeow' if something bad happens. That's just me though.
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Old 28-12-2017, 07:37 AM
AuroraFox AuroraFox is offline
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Default Re: Inflatables filled with hydrogen?
Might as well just use acetylene and really put on a show...
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