The Making #2 : Baloons

Balloons are manufactured from a liquid rubber called latex. The balloon gets its color from the pigment that is added to the latex. Pigments are both organic and inorganic compounds that absorb certain wavelengths of visible light and reflect others. For example, a red balloon is red because the balloon absorbs all the visible light except red frequency light which is reflected back to the eye.

Latex harvesting does not hurt the tree! Latex balloons are earth-friendly! Rubber trees grow in rain forests. Latex harvesting discourages deforestation because latex-producing trees are left intact. A tree can produce latex for up to 40 years!

The strength of balloons can be affected by the pigment if the pigment particle is large in size and interferes with the film continuity and if the pigment reacts with any of the other ingredients in the balloon. As far as which color has the most effect on the balloons strength, we have not done any in depth study. Since we use pigments that are water dispersions of very, very, small particle size, and they do not react with any other ingredients in the latex, we do not detect any difference.

The natural rubber latex that we use comes from the sap of the rubber tree , Heveabrasiliensis, that grows in Malaysia. This sap looks like milk and is shipped to America in large ocean tanker ships. Once removed from the tree, the sap is called latex. To make this suitable for balloon production, curing agents, accelerators, oil, color, and water must be added. After these are added, the completed latex is put in an open top tank, and the balloon form, which is in the shape of a balloon, isdipped. Before the form is dipped into latex, it is dipped into a coagulent that causes the rubber particles of the latex to collect on the form. This coagulent is calcium nitrate, water, and/or alcohol. After the coagulent coated form is dried, it is then dipped into the compounded latex. Then the latex coated form passed through a set of revolving brushes that rolls the balloon neck into the bead that is used to aid in the inflation of the balloon. The latex coated form is then washed in hot water to remove any unused nitrate. Following the leaching, the form is put in a 200-220 degrees Fahrenheit oven to cure for 20-25 minutes. When cured, the rubber balloon is removed from the form (Read More)

Source and Courtesy : Youtube (How It’s Made) and

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