Generally speaking, hydraulic piston accumulators are a type of pressure storage device that can be sized to fit the needs of a given system. They are designed to handle extremes in demand, help respond quickly to a temporary increase in load or smooth out pulsations in a hydraulic circuit.
They are also designed to absorb sudden changes in a system’s fluid pressure and temperature, and can help prevent internal shock that can cause noise or damage devices. They can also help a pump or motor operate at lower inertia to reduce system installed cost, and minimize energy costs associated with pump cycle times.
These accumulators are usually pre-charged to eighty (80) percent of the minimum system hydraulic pressure. This value is determined by the specific accumulator manufacturer.
The accumulator itself is a pressure vessel that stores both the precharged gas and the hydraulic fluid in its shell. It is then able to accept downstream flow as the system demands it.
Bladder Style Accumulators
As opposed to a piston accumulator, bladder style accumulators use a bladder as a flexible separator between the fluid and the precharged gas in their cylinders. These accumulators can be mounted vertically and horizontally, and their large ports promote easy fluid discharge.
Diaphragm Style Accumulators
Similar to the bladder style accumulator, diaphragm accumulators also use a diaphragm as a separator between the fluid and the precharged oil. These accumulators are typically mounted vertically and are often used in low-cycle applications.