Primary Designs of Accumulators and Their Importance to Hydraulic Systems

Blog | June 25th, 2021

A lot of useful machines and equipment pieces maximise hydraulic systems in carrying out their intended functions and operations. What makes hydraulic systems functional is that they use hydraulic fluid to generate enough hydraulic energy. The same fluid then passes through various system components so that its hydraulic energy reverts into mechanical energy.

Energy is the sole reason behind the primary operations of hydraulic systems. Hence, it would be vital for these systems to have enough energy all the time. One component that allows hydraulic systems to be efficient is the accumulator. Accumulators are devices that can store energy by holding incompressible hydraulic fluid under pressure. They do not only accept and store energy, but they can also release energy if ever the hydraulic system needs it.

Accumulators used for hydraulic systems may have separating elements to keep them safe and stable. To date, there are three primary types and designs of accumulators.

Bladder Accumulators

Bladder accumulators are known to be the most commonly used hydro-pneumatic accumulators today. This type of accumulators is comprised of a pressure vessel and an internal elastomeric bladder, which is often charged by a gas valve located on top of the accumulator. A poppet valve, alternatively, is found at the bottom of the accumulator to prevent the bladder from releasing outflowing fluid.

For bladder accumulators to work effectively, they must be charged with nitrogen to a pressure that is determined by the manufacturer. Once the system pressure goes beyond the pre-charge pressure of the accumulator, the poppet valve will open, allowing the hydraulic fluid to enter.

Diaphragm Accumulators

Diaphragm accumulators, on the other hand, have spherical or cylindrical pressure vessel that contains an elastomeric diaphragm. The elastomeric diaphragm serves as the separating element of these accumulators. This type of accumulators has two versions. One of these is the welded one. The welded model of diaphragm accumulators has a diaphragm that is pressed into the bottom half of the vessel before welding the seam. The threaded model, alternatively, features a diaphragm that is located between the top and bottom sections of the vessel and held by a threaded ring.

Another difference between the diaphragm accumulator versions is the ratio of maximum operating pressure to gas pre-charge pressure. Welded models have a pressure ratio of 8:1, while the threaded models boast a pressure ratio of 10:1. Accumulators with higher pressure ratio are known to be more efficient since they maximise a higher volume of functional fluid.

Diaphragm accumulators are great with applications that encounter shock and pulsation. 

Piston Accumulators

Piston accumulators, ultimately, feature an outer cylinder tube, end caps, a piston element, and a sealing system. The cylinder of these accumulators can hold fluid pressure and regulate the piston, which serves as the separating element between fluid and gas. Once the system pressure goes beyond the minimum operating capacity of the accumulator, the piston will compress the gas in the cylinder.

This type of accumulators is recommended for emergency services.

To find out more about these accumulators, feel free to call us at Mobile Hydraulic Specialties.

Mobile Hydraulic Specialties Pty Ltd

Factory 89, 38-40 Popes Road
Keysborough, Victoria, 3173

Phone: (03) 9798-6511

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Contact Us

Mobile Hydraulic Specialties Pty Ltd

Phone: (03) 9798-6511
Address: Factory 89, 38-40 Popes Road, Keysborough, Victoria, 3173