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Blimp Envelope Material Comparison: Balloon Foil vs LoonTex

Updated: Feb 14, 2021

We developed LoonTex for use in small blimp drones, where weight savings are important. In this video we compare it with traditional "Balloon Foil", which is commonly used on small blimps.





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Two concerns....how permeable to helium is LoonTex, is it conductive (anti-static) and is material available for sale for its stated purpose - Thanks!


Richard Duren


RDuren@dadsairship.com


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msummers
msummers
Feb 25, 2021
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It's He or H2 permeability is similar to balloon foil, as both use an aluminum layer of similar thickness for gas retention. However, in practice gas loss in a blimp is overwhelming caused by pinholes and seam issues rather than diffusion through the envelope. So more testing needs to be done in a more practical application. The aluminum layer is conductive, however it is on the interior of the envelope. Therefore it is insulated to some degree. Nonetheless, the blimp should not be flown near high voltage power lines. Even if the envelope offered sufficient insulation, which it may not, the other components in the blimp like the electronics would provide an avenue for that voltage to short out. This is…

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