What is a balloon and how are latex balloons made?
A latex balloon is basically a latex bag that is filled with a gas. But how latex balloons are made is an interesting evolution of events and ideas. In early days, dried animal bladders (yes, it’s true) were used to make balloons, but then rubber balloons were invented (thankfully) in 1824 by Michael Faraday. Liquid rubber which comes from the sap of rubber trees in Malaysia and is called latex is now used to make balloons. Pigment is then added to the latex mixture causing the production of different colored balloons. But how are latex balloons made? Balloon forms are made and then are dipped in the liquid rubber to create the balloon. To watch the whole process and how what happens to the balloon after it is removed from the forms, scroll to the bottom of the page for the video!
Qualities of a good balloon
The qualities which make a good latex balloon:
- peripheral wall thickness is regular
- good end gelation
- free of pinholes
- good bead rolling
- a “favorable” taste (if you have ever bought cheap, party store balloons and blew them up by mouth, then you know what this means!)
How does a good manufacturer control all this:
- control surface tension of coagulant
- good antisettling of “chalk” (you know the powder you feel when you open a new bag of balloons)
- speed immersion and withdrawal in and out of the liquid rubber latex
- compound viscosity is correct
- chemical stability is correct
- forms are clean
- filters are efficient
- good step back of film thickness
- film is well-leached
- proper clean and oven time
- good balloons even need a proper roll at the end to help you blow them up!
Sounds simple right?
Want to learn more? Click here to learn how balloons get their color.
Below is a video about Maple City Rubber, the maker of Tuf Tex Latex Balloons. It shows the entire balloon making process in action. Enjoy!
How latex balloons are made- video