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The resurgence of airships

03 July 2017

Airships are a very green way to travel and have made a considerable resurgence over the last few years, due largely to improvements in technology.

The problem has been that, as helium molecules are smaller than those of any other gas, they also seeps out through the fabric much faster - and every fabric ever made lets gas seep or permeate out to a greater or lesser extent. This “seepage” is actually a bigger problem than leaks and it extends far beyond the aerospace industry to include anyone manufacturing with plastics, laminates or textiles.

This means that testing as part of both development and quality control is essential.

Fortunately, Versaperm has developed a next-generation solution and its latest permeability meters give a very precise, fast measurement that is accurate in the Parts Per Million (PPM) range. They are both easy to use and highly automated.

To ensure that airship and textile companies can measure the rates at which atmospheric gasses permeate into the envelope, as well as how fast helium seeps out, the instrument can optionally measure the permeability not just for hydrogen but for virtually every other gas in modern use - including hydrocarbons, solvents, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapour. 

Where a company’s throughput is not high enough to warrant purchasing a dedicated instrument, Versaperm also offers a fast turnaround laboratory measurement and consultancy service.

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