# How Much Weight Can One Helium Balloon Lift?

Save

Every child knows that helium balloons can fly high into the sky, but how much weight can it lift? Anyone can deduce the answers to these questions with a handful of facts and some basic math.

## Helium's Lifting Power

• Helium has a lifting force of slightly over one gram per liter. This lifting force comes from helium weighing less than air, resulting in an effect known as displacement. Because the surrounding air has been displaced by a substance with less weight per unit of volume, it is pushed away (upward, thanks to gravity) by the heavier substance.

## A Balloon's Volume

• The lifting force of a balloon depends on the size of the balloon. If we know the radius, we can approximate the volume by using the equation 4/3 x pi x the radius cubed. If we assume that an average balloon has a 30.48 cm diameter (one foot) and, therefore, a 15.24 cm radius, then the equation becomes 4/3 x 3.14 x 15.24 x 15.24 x 15.24, which equals 14,819 cm cubed, or 14.82 liters.

## Calculating A Balloon's Lift

• Assuming our balloon's volume is 14.82 liters, and if helium's lifting force is one gram per liter, that means it can lift slightly under 15 grams, or about 0.03 pounds.

## References

• Photo Credit air balloon image by Ekaterina Shvigert from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet

### You May Also Like

• Facts About Hydrogen and Helium

While they are the lightest of the elements and the sole occupants of the top period or row of the periodic table,...

• How High Can a Helium Balloon Go Before it Pops?

Balloons frequently--whether intentionally or accidentally--escape into the sky. These balloons float up into the atmosphere until they either pop or begin to...

• How to Make Balloon Weights

While helium balloons you purchase already inflated at the party store may have weights attached, you'll have to come up with your...

• How to Reinflate Helium Balloons

No matter how big or beautiful they are, all helium filled balloon eventually lose their lift. For untreated latex balloons, it only...

• The Effects of Inhaling Helium Gas

Helium is a colorless, odorless, non-flammable gas typically used to fill balloons. Inhaling a small amount of helium makes your voice high-pitched...

## Related Searches

Check It Out

### How to Build and Grow a Salad Garden On Your Balcony

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.