Want To Know More About Helium?

Want To Know More About Helium?

What Is Helium

Helium is found in minute proportions in the atmosphere, less than 0.001% in air. It can also be found in a certain number of natural gas fields, where it results from the natural radioactive decay of heavy elements in the earth’s crust, in particular, uranium and thorium.

Being both lighter than air and non-flammable, helium is used to inflate both balloons and airships.

Is There A Shortage Of Helium?

There is a shortage but due to the cover pandemic the reduction of celebration parties meant that helium wasn’t used for balloons. (piece form Physics Today  Read more“ As demand for party balloons—which account for 10% or more of total helium use, according to market consultant Phil Kornbluth, as industrial demand slowed in concert with shelter-in-place orders, the global helium supply crunch of the past two years abruptly ended. “It was like somebody flipped a light switch. It went from shortage to an ample supply within a month,” says Kornbluth. But the prices have more than doubled in 2023 and there seems to be a shortage again.

The balloon industry had been preparing for a shortage of helium and therefore introduced more air-filled products which last longer and look amazing. “The designer in you comes out creating lots of exciting ideas”. Air is made up of bigger molecules than helium so it takes longer to leak out of the latex pores, whereas the helium latex filled balloons may only last up to 12-14 hours.

There is a product you can use to combat this called Hi Float. You put a small amount inside the latex balloons and squidgy it around the balloon whilst deflated this coats the inside of the balloon making the pores air tighter. Therefore may last 1-2 days.

You need to do the helium filled latex on the day you need them.

Air – Filled Fore’s & Against

  • Don’t need helium and Balloons last longer
  • They don’t float but you can build into Marquees/arches/organics/centerpieces/Backdrops etc
  • Can you an electric pump or hand pump
  • No canister to dispose off
  • Environmentally friendlier

Helium filled Fore’s & Against

  • Latex without Hi Float only last 12-14 hours
  • Foils may last 2-4 days
  • Have a canister to hire & re-fill with a cost
  • Need to dispose of dispose
  • May run out one day

If You Want To Use Helium And Do Balloons Yourself

What Size Helium Canister Should I Get?

The small disposable canisters actually give you a good guide as to how many balloons it will inflate. But take into consideration for example a 34” foil number with take a lot for helium than a 10” latex balloon, so make sure you work out how much you will need. Don’t forget ribbons & weights too.

TOP TIP A tip to inflate your balloons to size is use a table edge, measure 10” for example, then put the back of a chair where the 10” would be .. then inflate the balloon from the edge of the table to the back of the chair, that will give you the right size then use for all the balloons and they should be same size.

Deposing Of Your Helium Canister

The DIY gas canisters can be disposed of at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. However, there are certain steps you will need to take before your tank can be recycled:

  • You must ensure that your canister is empty before recycling. Fully open the valve by turning it left and bend the black nozzle to release any remaining helium. Hold until you do not feel any pressure or hear any sound from the nozzle.
  • Remove the black nozzle by unscrewing it counter-clockwise
  • Write “EMPTY” in bold text with a permanent marker on the tank near the top, so that it is clearly visible
  • Follow the guidance provided by your local recycler and deposit your recyclable helium cylinder at their facility

NOTE: When at your recycling centre you may require additional safety measures

Why Should I Use A Professional?

As qualified balloon decorators, we know what balloons to use (not cheap ones, or a kit from an online store), we know what size to make them, what colours go together and we also take away the stress for you. You order it, we do it for you so you can walk in the event and go wow….

Yes it costs a little bit more but if you actually added up your time buying the products, doing the balloons it may actually save you in the long run.

Hope that answers some of your questions and happy ballooning.   We would love to hear your feedback or any other questions. We aren’t experts but know what we have learned along the way.

Thank you,

Claire, at Occasions Hub Ltd


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