Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: helium balloon leaks

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 01/14/2017
Q:
I would like to know if I were to fill a bag that is completely airtight with helium gas does the helium dissipate? If so at what rate can I expect to have to refill the bag with helium to serve its purpose?
- Todd Henkel (age 50)
Clearwater, Fl USA
A:

Helium does leak through containers relatively easily. Balloons made out of latex lose their helium in a day or two, if I remember right. Fancy ones with thicker walls (plastic? metal coated?) seem to last more like a week or two, again if my memory is about right. A thick metal tank of helium in the lab will stay pressurized for years. How long the helium will last in your bag depends on what sort of bag it is.

Mike W.


(published on 01/14/2017)

Follow-up on this answer.