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Our competitively priced wholesale range of party supplies in Ireland (9000 lines) provides decor products for Birthdays, Baby Shower, New Baby, Wedding, Hen, Anniversary and all other occasions. We ship overseas.

About Balloons

A balloon is a flexible bag filled with a gas, perhaps helium, hydrogen, nitrous oxide or air. The first balloons were made using dried animal bladders. Modern balloons are now made using materials such as rubber, latex, poly chloroprene or a nylon fabric. Balloons can be merely decorative, while others are used for specific purposes such as meteorology, medical treatment, military defence, or transportation. A balloon’s properties, including its low density and relatively low cost, have led to a wide range of applications

The word balloon actually derives from the French word ‘ballon’, meaning large ball. This was in turn probably from the latin ballone, but another possible source for it was balla, meaning ball, from Old High German. Other related words include the Middle English bal, which was probably from the Old English beall, both meaning ball. Another source may have been from the French word balle, meaning ball. Originally balloons were made from animal bladders. In the olden days, especially in the European regions, jesters were said to sometimes inflate the entrails of recently butchered animals and entertain with them. The bladders, intestines, and sometimes the stomach, were strong enough that, despite their thinness, they could be manipulated into amusing shapes.

About Latex Balloons
Latex balloons are 100% biodegradable – Latex balloons are manufactured from natural rubber; the white sap is extracted from the Haevae Brasilienis tree and collected in liquid form, which is then referred to as latex. Latex balloons are 100% biodegradable

Latex is collected without harming the tree by using environmentally safe, age-old process similar to that used for collecting the sap from maple trees for syrup. The tropical rain forest trees are very valuable and a well-protected natural resource. These precious trees play an important ecological role in the earths fragile ecological balance. They remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and this aids in preventing global warming.

Latex balloons are made with 100% natural rubber which means that the balloons can biodegrade completely. The degradation process begins immediately the balloons are inflated and gets quicker as the balloons are exposed to the light. Within an hour the balloon takes on an opaque or milky look, known as oxidation. The length of the degradation process depends on the exposure to UV light, but according to scientific research the length of this process is approximate the same as a leaf from an oak tree under similar environmental conditions.

All our latex balloons are made from 100% natural latex: not plastic.

Why do Latex Balloons go Bang when they burst?

Most people believe that the loud noise you hear when Latex balloons burst is due to the sudden release of high pressure gas contained inside the balloon. The fact is that, the bang is caused by the tightly stretched ends of the torn Latex balloon pieces exceeding the speed of sound – creating a sonic boom as they quickly snap back to their pre-inflated size. When a tiny crack develops in the surface of an inflated Latex balloon – the resulting rapid release of energy stored in the stretched latex accelerates the crack to near the speed of sound in rubber. Since this speed is much higher than the speed of sound in air, the running crack actually breaks the sound barrier! The loudness of the bang is usually dependent on how much the Latex is stretched before it bursts. This is why even small Latex balloons stretched to their limits will often make a much louder BANG when they burst than a larger balloon that is not stretched as tightly. Pure Latex, in its natural form, is milky white in colour. It usually arrives in North America from rubber producing countries via large ocean going tanker ships. It is then either shipped by rail or trucked to the balloon manufacturer. To make it suitable for balloon production, various curing agents along with accelerators, oil, colour, and water must first be added to the mix. After these elements are added, the prepared Latex is placed into a wide, open-topped tank that is located immediately beside the balloon production line.

How Latex Balloons are manufactured.
Almost all commercially produced Latex balloons are now manufactured by dipping metal balloon forms into tanks of liquid Latex. For example, a balloon form for a round balloon is shaped like small light bulb. However, before the forms can be dipped into the liquid Latex, they must first be dipped into a coagulant that causes the rubber particles of the Latex to collect on the form. This coagulant is calcium nitrate, water, and/or alcohol. After the coagulant coated form is dried, the actual process of balloon making can commence.

In the next part of the process – usually automated – the variously shaped balloon forms are dipped upside down into the open-topped Latex tank at the proper point in the production process. For example, to make a round balloon, the form is dipped – top end first. Because it is dipped upside down, the excess Latex has a tendency to drip off the top of the form, making that part of the balloon just a little bit thicker than the bottom. This forms what is called a drip tip on that end. These are the little dark spots of thicker Latex you often see in the top centre or ends of most inflated Latex balloons.

After dipping, the Latex coated forms are turned right side up again and are then passed through a set of revolving brushes that roll the balloon necks into the familiar looking beads or lips that aid in the inflation of the balloon. In this part of the process, the excess Latex at the bottom of the neck end of the balloon mould is rolled upwards by small motorized brushes. The brushes are positioned horizontally and are mounted so as to point toward the approaching moulds. As the rows of Latex-coated moulds progress down the production line, they pass between the rotating, cone shaped brushes. The brushes turn in opposite directions and lightly touch the molds at the neck end, thus rolling the Latex into the familiar nubbin shape on each newly formed balloon. This process all occurs while the Latex is still uncured.

Now, the almost completed balloon, still on its form, is washed in hot water to remove any unused nitrate. Following this process (called leaching), the balloon-covered forms are then put into an oven at 200-220 degrees Fahrenheit (in a process called vulcanising) to cure for 20-25 minutes. Once cured, the completed balloons are removed from their forms and sorted for later imprinting or prepared directly for packaging and shipping. The metal forms are saved for later use and can be re-used over and over again in future production runs. A fully automated balloon factory can produce upwards of one million Latex balloons per day this way!

Party Balloons
Party balloons offer a speedy and easy way to add fun to parties and cost effectively fill up a room. Balloons – available in many colours shapes and sizes are the ultimate party decorations.

The Life of a Balloon
The life of all balloons depends on their atmosphere and the care they are given by the recipient. Latex balloons prefer a cool room and they don’t like anything sharp including rough ceilings, or pet claws and teeth. Mylar or foil balloons are pretty tough but will look wrinkled and out of shape if it gets too cold. They also don’t like real hot weather because they tend to pop their seems.

Balloon Releases
Released balloons can land almost anywhere and balloons released from balloon nets are becoming very popular and can be a great way to raise monies; great as fund raising events as well as spectacular at special events and for celebrations.

Released Balloons
Once the balloon releases have been started they will have enough lift to rise 5 miles up in the atmosphere to burst, thus fluttering down to earth. At release time you will get the visual effect you are looking for pretty balloons rising into the sky.

The First Balloon

The first balloon was invented by Brazilian-born Portuguese priest, Bartolomeu de Gusmao, and the first public exhibition was to the Portuguese Court on August 8, 1709, in the hall of the Casa da India in Lisbon. The rubber balloon was invented by Michael Faraday in 1824; it was inflated with hydrogen and used in his experiments with that element. The more familiar latex balloons of today were first manufactured in London, 1847, but mass production did not occur until the 1930s. In 1931, balloon technology leaped ahead when, according to an industry catalog, Neil Tillotson dipped the first modern latex balloon made from the sap of a rubber tree.


Balloon Printing Techniques
Over the years balloon printing techniques have changed tremendously and improved and we are continuously keeping up with all the latest technology and moving with the times to maintain our position.Today all of our custom printed balloons are screen printed to guarantee a perfect result.

Balloons Retain Buoyancy
When rubber balloons are filled with helium so that they float, they typically retain their buoyancy for only a day or so. The enclosed helium atoms escape through small pores in the latex which are larger than the helium atoms. Balloons filled with air usually hold their size and shape much longer.

Even a perfect rubber balloon eventually loses the gas to the outside. The process by which a substance or solute migrates from a region of high concentration, through a barrier or membrane, to a region of lower concentration is called diffusion. The inside of balloons can be treated with a special gel (for instance, the polymer solution sold under the Hi Float brand) which coats the inside of the balloon to reduce the helium leakage, thus increasing float time to a week or longer.

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