Just like latex balloons, foil balloons should be inflated with either air or helium. However smaller sizes like the 10cm and 22cm foil balloons are not designed for helium inflation and should be inflated with air alone. Also, when inflating your foil balloons, they should be fully filled with even creases around the seam. Please be careful not to over inflate the balloon as they do not have much elasticity and can burst when over-inflated.
Flying foil balloons in various high atmospheric conditions and extreme temperatures can degrade the performance of helium-inflated foil balloons. In general, it is recommended to use larger foil balloons for higher altitudes. In addition, 45cm foil balloons with design heavy ink tested before deploying at high altitudes as the ink will add weight to the balloon. For best performance, we recommend to test inflate varying sizes to track the time it floats at the proposed height.
As for temperatures, the same rules as latex balloons apply to foil balloons. Slightly under-inflate balloons when moving them for a cool environment to a warmer one (as the helium will expand), and fully inflate them when moving from a warm environment to a cooler one (as the helium will contract). Foil balloons may appear half full and may not float in much cooler environments, however when they are moved to a warmer environment, they will expand to their original state. Foil balloon valves rely on back pressure to function, so the balloons may lose gas if they remain in an under-inflated state. Experience is the best method in determining proper inflation.
Smaller foil balloons are designed to be sealed with heat. The preferred method is a bar seal made with a professional Heat Sealer. To ensure a tight seal, lay the tail of the balloon over the bar, making sure there are no creases in the material before applying the heat bar. Larger foil balloons have self-sealing valves, eliminating the need for a heat sealer.
Correct storage of foil balloons ensures maximum float time. To avoid cracking the balloon film or chipping off the ink, which exposes the surface of the balloon and allows helium to escape faster, foil balloons should be stored flat, rolled or in packages. Never crease foil balloons with storing.