By Mike Carney, CFPS
Industrial and mobile applications utilize three types of hydro-pneumatic accumulators:
Each has particular advantages as well as limitations which should all be considered when selecting an accumulator for a specific application.
Bladder or Diaphragm accumulators are generally preferred for applications requiring rapid cycling, resistance to high fluid contamination and fast response times.
Piston accumulators offer greater efficiency and flexibility in most applications due to their wider range of sizes.
Accumulators in a hydraulic system are able to reduce shock loads, lower noise levels and reduce energy consumption. These benefits provide reduced operator fatigue and extended maintenance intervals which then reduce ownership costs and boost operational productivity. Another accumulator benefit is the ability to use smaller pumps, motors and reservoirs which saves both installation space and cost. Accumulators can also be used to supply emergency power for braking and steering systems.
Not sure which accumulator type is best for your application? Read this article on Accumulator Selection.