From ArticleWorld

The balloon is a piece of material, usually latex, rubber, chloroprene or a nylon based fabric, which may be inflated using helium, oxygen or other light gasses. The balloon can differ in shape, sizes and usage in what is a seemingly endless array of decorative and functional guises. Balloons have progressed greatly to fulfil many useful purposes from its original design as an inflated dried animal bladder.

Balloon Usage

The balloon has taken on many roles in its long history and has performed numerous functions from simple aesthetics to weapons of war. Possibly the most popular image conjured of the balloon is in the guise of a party balloon. These come in various shapes and colourful shades to be used as decoration at celebrations. But its uses extend far beyond that of a simple piece of decoration. There are weather balloons that incorporate technology and the balloon’s buoyancy to collect weather data at great altitudes. As transportation in the form of hot air balloons, using heat and a large canvas to create lift, such balloons have been used in record attempts to traverse the globe. In the past they were used to fend of enemy bombers during World War II, with large gas filled barrage balloons and their thick rope guides being a deadly obstacle for low flying aircraft. Similarly balloon technology has been used to create floating airships, like the ominous Zeppelins of the Third Reich and modern day tethered or roaming blimps used for aerial coverage, most notably sports events.


In the standard party balloon and with most other forms the gas, or in some instances is maintained by a dense but malleable material, like latex. This latex is tapped from rubber trees and can be shaped and expanded as well as having the condensed fibre necessary for holding gasses and maintaining buoyancy. But rubber of all qualities can never maintain complete inflation over a long period of time. Over a span of time the balloon becomes more deflated, this occurs because the rubber has minute pores, through which particles of gas may eventually escape.

Balloon Technology

Balloon technology has evolved to adapt to various environments and to perform new tasks. Nylon based balloons with metallic properties, which cannot be stretched, are commonly used as gifts or as decoration and are produced to last longer than the rubber counterparts. Stretchable shaped balloons are used in the modelling of objects by entertainers. Balloons are even used in medicine to power certain catheters and in a procedure called angioplasty, in which two small balloons are used to stretch the walls of veins near the heart to improve circulation.