Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Balloon Manifolds

Reusable Balloon Decorations
  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
  [vote for,

We have all seen those big balloon arches and bundles that are used to decorate for parties dances and graduations. Well usually constructing those involve big bags of balloons, tanks of helium and a lot of tired volunteers.

This product is designed to greatly simplify this process. These pre-manufactured manifold sections are constructed of a reinforced plastic tubing core with smaller feed lines with one of those quick balloon adapters on the end. Balloons are quickly loaded onto the manifold by hand then once placed in position the Helium is connected to the end of the manifold and all the balloons are filled at one time. Spring loaded check valves in each stem allow gas to flow at normal flow rates but when a balloon is popped the rush of gas forces the valve closed until the gas pressure is removed from the manifold side (to prevent accidental deflations)

Manifolds would come in shorter sections so that any size construction can be assembled. They are also flexible to allow for custom shapes and designs. A small Electric compressor allows for recovery of the helium from the balloons after the event is over, greatly reducing the cost for helium.

jhomrighaus, Aug 18 2006

Manifold Defined http://www.thefreedictionary.com/manifold
What is a Manifold. [jhomrighaus, Aug 18 2006]

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       Sounds good to me.
ldischler, Aug 18 2006

       Ha ha! [phlish]. And how could you close the bonnet with all those balloons in the engine bay?   

       And as to the idea...yes, sounds good. Wouldn't it get very cold on the 'fill' cycle, and hot on the 'recover' cycle. [+]
Frankx, Aug 18 2006

       It may get colder on the fill cycle but only the compressed helium at the compressor and at the tank would get hot, then however probably no more than normal compressed air might.
jhomrighaus, Aug 18 2006

       You would need a pressure regulator for each outlet, because the pressure _decreases_ as the balloons fill; without regulators the balloon(s) that fill a tiny bit faster would get all the gas and the others would remain uninflated.
spidermother, Aug 21 2006

       The pressure as the gas enters the balloon may fall slightly however the pressure exerted on the gas by the balloon will ballance this change and push air on to the remaining balloons. If all are the same size then the pressure will equalize over all balloons.
jhomrighaus, Aug 21 2006

       I might not have been clear. Counterintuitively, the pressure in a well inflated balloon is less than that in a partly inflated one; this is why when you blow up a balloon the first bit is hardest, then it gets easier. Try blowing up two balloons simultaneously using a Y-tube; I think you'll find that only one will inflate. Having a slight resistance in each arm, and inflating at a fairly rapid rate, should allow them all to inflate fairly evenly (cheaper than pressure regulators). LEDs connected in parallel have an analogous behaviour; one will be brighter than the others. Providing each with a resister evens out the current.
spidermother, Aug 21 2006

       With two balloons this is probably the case though i suspect this is more akin to leverage than pressure. as the ballons volume increases the amount of work being done per square inch decreases (like using more pullys) but with many ballons any differential should be overcome and the pressure would equalize as per physics the pressure within the manifold must be equal to the elastic pressure exerted by the ballon inward plus atmospheric pressure.
jhomrighaus, Aug 21 2006

       The pressure will tend to equalise, yes, but at that pressure I predict that the smaller balloons will lose gas to the bigger ones. One or both of us should try this. I've got a manifold I rigged up for a solar collector which might do the trick - just a bunch of 12mm polyethelene pipes attached to a larger main pipe.
spidermother, Aug 21 2006

       Great! Could be used to sell Pre-fabricated balloon dogs, rabbits etc.
egbert, Aug 23 2006


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