Monday, September 25, 2017

HI-FLOAT - the low-down on this magical sticky stuff!

It's truly amazing how the balloon industry has developed over the past thirty-five and more years! Who would have ever thought that there would be a liquid that would make our latex balloons float for up to twenty-five times longer! 



HI-FLOAT® is a product that we certainly take for granted and no professional balloon company could be without it. But I wonder how many of us know how its invention came about?


In 1982, Marjorie Burchette opened a small balloon delivery shop in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A. Within a short time, Marjorie became aware that her customers were disappointed that the latex balloons would only float for a day. She felt sure that her husband Don, a chemical engineer would be able to resolve this. Given this task, Don went to work on the problem working at night in his basement shop, and after about a year, he had developed HI-FLOAT. The rest, of course, is history; HI-FLOAT has become a phenomenal success and an essential tool for every balloon professional. 








HI-FLOAT has come a long way since that time. Andrea Burchette Cash, Phillip Cash, and Keith Burchette continue to run and grow the family business — Keith jokingly refers to working in a family business as the "Thanksgiving Dinner that never ends. It tends to be a struggle not to bring your work home with you. I encourage everyone that works with friends and family to do a little research on the subject to ensure that they succeed in their mission."  


Phillip and Andrea Burchette-Cash

Keith Burchette
In 1992, HI-FLOAT introduced an improved formula, SUPER HI-FLOAT, which worked twice as well. In 2002, the next generation of balloon treatment was born — ULTRA HI-FLOAT. This concentrated formula worked twice as well as SUPER HI-FLOAT, and it increased the floating life of a latex balloon by up to 25 times, on average.



So what is HI-FLOAT?

HI-FLOAT balloon treatment is a solution of a plastic material dissolved in water. It forms a coating inside latex balloons that greatly reduces the helium or air loss. 
With ULTRA HI-FLOAT, latex balloons can be prepared a day ahead of time, and balloon bouquets will float for several days.
Helium-filled latex balloons float 25 times longer on average with ULTRA HI-FLOAT, and air-filled latex balloons maintain full size for over one month with ULTRA HI-FLOAT.
HI-FLOAT is very safe. It is non-toxic, non-irritating, noncorrosive, nonflammable and biodegradable. It is similar to the glue on the back of postage stamps.


Average Floating times with and without HI-FLOAT


Float Times  Helium Only Helium and Hi-FLOAT
11” / 28 cm latex  1 Day 1-4 weeks
16” / 41 cm latex  1 ½ Days 3 - 7 weeks
36” / 90 cm latex  3 - 5 Days  6 -20 weeks

It's easy to see why a professional decorator would use HI-Float in all their helium-filled latex balloons!

But you can do so much more with Hi-Float! 


Confetti on the Inside of Clear Balloons — this is one of today's top trends, and can you believe HI-FLOAT showed us how to do this thirty years ago!


It is easy to make festive, eye-catching arrangements by putting confetti inside HI-FLOAT treated balloons. Confetti balloons can be used to create elegant decor for special events such as New Year’s Eve.
The confetti needs to be made of soft foil. Sharp edges could cause the balloon to pop. When inflating a balloon with confetti, safety glasses are recommended.

Ingredients:
• ULTRA HI-FLOAT
• 16-inch clear latex balloons
• Foil confetti
• A canning funnel

Instructions:
  • Add ULTRA HI-FLOAT to a 16-inch clear balloon using the grey pump restriction clip.
  • Rub the outside of the balloon in the usual manner to spread the coating over the inside surface.
  • Blow a puff of air into the balloon so the sides of the balloon are not touching.
  • Add about 1/3 cup of chopped foil or other soft confetti into the balloon through a funnel. You can make confetti by cutting up some old foil balloons that have popped, or you can buy it pre-chopped.
  • Inflate the balloon with helium to about the size of a grapefruit.
  • Shake the balloon vigorously to spread the confetti uniformly inside.
  • Inflate the balloon the rest of the way with helium, and tie it with ribbon.
  • This same technique can be used to put sparkling glitter inside the balloon.
Tip: The key to getting the confetti uniformly spread over the inside of the balloon without forming clumps is to avoid rubbing the balloon after the confetti is added. Instead, inflate the balloon slightly and shake it.
Note: It is always a good idea when working with confetti to wear protective eyewear.




How about making magical Spider's Web balloons for Halloween!

For a unique Halloween decoration, use HI-FLOAT and clear balloons to make balloons with spider's webs inside. 

Ingredients:
  • ULTRA HI-FLOAT
  • 11-inch clear latex balloons
  • A small rubber spider
Instructions:
  • Treat a clear balloon with HI-FLOAT. Refer to the clip guide to choose the correct restriction clip based on balloon size.
  • Rub the balloon to spread the HI-FLOAT.
  • Inflate the balloon with air to about 75% capacity.
  • Seal the balloon with a plastic disc or clip.
  • Let the HI-FLOAT in the balloon dry overnight. Place the balloon out where there is good air circulation. It must be very dry in order for the spider  web to form.
  • The next day, remove the clip and deflate the balloon.
  • Insert a small rubber spider.
  • Hold the balloon by the stem and the top as shown below, and stretch it a few times to separate the dry film from the wall of the balloon.
  • Slowly inflate the balloon with helium or air.
  • As the balloon inflates, the HI-FLOAT film will continue to separate from the wall of the balloon in several places and hang to form a spider web. If you inflate the balloon too quickly, the HI-FLOAT coating will totally come off, and the special effect will not work. If the coating does not separate from the balloon as it inflates, deflate the balloon again and stretch it a couple more times. Use caution so the coating does not totally come off inside the balloon.
  • This takes a little practice, but once you’ve mastered the technique, almost every balloon turns out beautiful.
Note: Since the HI-FLOAT coating inside the balloon is no longer intact, the balloon will not have an extended floating life. A long-lasting product can be made by inflating the balloon with air instead of helium and putting it on a cup and stick. Use the dilute-coating technique on the outside to keep it from oxidizing.




You can even use HI-FLOAT to create Confetti-Filled Deco Bubbles. Here are the instructions on how to do it!

INGREDIENTS
• ULTRA HI-FLOAT
• 20" or 24" DECO BUBBLE
• Mylar confetti
• A canning funnel

20 INCH DECO CONFETTI BALLOON
1) Add a ½ squirt of Ultra HI-FLOAT with purple clip on pump.
2) Rub the outside of the Deco Bubble to spread the coating over the inside surface.
3) Blow a puff of air into the Bubble so the sides of the balloon are not touching.
4) Add about a ¼ cup chopped Mylar confetti.
5) Inflate the Bubble with helium to about the size of a soccer ball.
6) Shake the Bubble vigorously to spread the confetti uniformly inside.
7) Inflate the Bubble the rest of the way with helium and tie.

24 INCH DECO CONFETTI BALLOON
1) Add 1 squirt of Ultra HI-FLOAT with purple clip on pump.
2) Rub the outside of the Deco Bubble to spread the coating over the inside surface.
3) Blow a puff of air into the Bubble so the sides of the balloon are not touching.
4) Add about a ½ cup chopped Mylar confetti.
5) Inflate the Bubble with helium to about the size of a soccer ball.
6) Shake the Bubble vigorously to spread the confetti uniformly inside.
7) Inflate the Bubble the rest of the way with helium and tie.


You can also do the same process when creating air-filled Deco Bubbles! These look fantastic as centrepiece toppers, and because the balloons are air-filled you can use a little more HI-FLOAT and a lot more confetti! 

Design by Sue Bowler, CBA.
Photograph by Cam Woody, CBA.

Note: When inflating a Deco Bubble with confetti, safety glasses are recommended.


As you can see, there are some great design idea tips working with HI-FLOAT. To see even more ideas, click HERE, or visit the HI-FLOAT YouTube Channel.

A huge thank you to Marjorie Burchette for having the initial thought to extend the floating time of the latex balloon, and to Don Burchette who made it happen!

Happy ballooning!

Sue
www.suebowler.com






3 comments:

Ana H said...

Hi sue, using Hi float in a bubble is going to get opaque or see some Hi Float residue?

sunitha vishnu said...

Really it was an awesome article...very interesting to read..You have provided an nice article....Thanks for sharing..
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