An accumulator is a pressure storage device that contains two chambers separated by a totally enclosed bladder or floating piston. One chamber is filled with hydraulic fluid, while the other contains an inert gas. When the pressure inside the accumulator is high, oxygen and oil can mix to form an explosive mixture. The pressure that builds up in the accumulator can cause the bladder to rupture, resulting in an explosion or fire.
When used in hydraulic systems, accumulators are essential components that help regulate pressure. This pressure is influenced by various factors, such as heat and temperature. When used correctly, accumulators increase the amount of fluid available for the system. In the event of a malfunction, accumulator safety valves act as backups, releasing pressure when the pressure gets too high.
Before disassembling an accumulator, it is important to turn off the gas source to relieve pressure. It is also important to ensure that the gas hose is free of damage or deterioration. This will reduce the risk of an explosion. Also, do not use tools to turn the valve handles. These can damage the valves, and the high pressure gas can blow them out.
An accumulator's safety valve can be either manual or automatic. A manual valve is necessary if you are working in an area where the accumulator is installed.