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3 Types of Accumulator used in Hydraulic system | Weight, Spring, Gas Loaded Hydraulic Accumulators | Best Hydraulic Accumulator methods for Braking systems

Types of Accumulator in Hydraulic

A hydraulic accumulator can store fluid under pressure and perform hydraulic functions in a range of aspects. This is a product that is convenient to use for years without problems. A certain amount of fluid could be received and accumulated by the accumulators under pressure. If a specific task in the hydraulic system is needed, then the fluid is released. The functions range from leakage oil adjustment in damping vibration changes or temperature variations.

With the application of hydraulic accumulators significant energy savings and an increased lifetime of the device are achieved. There are many benefits of adding an accumulator to a hydraulic system which offers,  t he probability of using smaller pumps, less installed power requirements, immediate energy availability or reduced output of heat, to name a few. Another advantage is that the accumulator can be easily maintained and installed. The hydraulic accumulator design which increases the life span of accumulators and unlimited storage life without fatigue or inertia.

01-types of hydraulic accumulator - piston type hydraulic accumulator - bladder type accumulator - membrane accumulator

Types of accumulators are mentioned below in briefly:

  1. Tower type accumulator
  2. Raised weight accumulator
  3. Compressed gas accumulator
    1. Bladder type accumulator
    2. Diaphragm type accumulator
    3. Piston type accumulator
    4. Metal bellow type accumulator
  4. Spring accumulator

Hydraulic accumulator has a long history

William Armstrong created the first hydraulic accumulator in 1846 when he erected a crane driven by water from the city mains in Newcastle, United Kingdom. Armstrong utilised Grimsby Dock Tower later in 1852 to provide consistent pressure for cranes, lock gates, and canals.

At a height of 300 feet, the Grimsby Dock Tower features a hydraulic wrought iron reservoir that holds a 30000 UK gallon of water and provides a hydraulic accumulator to power to lock gates and cranes.

In hydraulics, what does an accumulator do?

Bladder, Piston, Oil, and Gas Accumulators are a form of accumulator that is commonly used. In a hydraulic system, a hydraulic accumulator is a pressure vessel that performs a variety of functions. They’re utilised to keep pressure constant, store and release energy, decrease pressure peaks, power chassis suspensions, and absorb shock, vibration, and pulsations.

Where is the hydraulic accumulator being used?

Hydraulic accumulators are used to save energy. During high demand, an accumulator can be utilised to augment a pump, decreasing the size of the pump and motor necessary. During the low demand portions of the pump cycle, the accumulator is charged, and then discharged during the high demand portions of the circuit.


1. Weight loaded accumulator – A Types of Accumulator 

It consists of a piston which is loaded with a dead weight and moving within a cylinder this tends to exert pressure on the hydraulic fluid. Potential energy to compress the fluid is generated by the dead weight present on the piston. Concrete block, iron or steel is generally used as dead weight. The piston is made to move in the accumulator in precision fit in order to reduce the leakage. One side of the accumulator is connected to the fluid source and other to the machine.

Weight loaded Accumulator - A type of Accumulator

Weight loaded Accumulator – A types of Accumulator

Working of Weight Loaded Accumulator

The ram is at the lower most position at the beginning of a cycle. The fluid is admitted continuously inside the cylinder during the idling period where the drive is provided by the machine. This makes the ram to reach the top most position, thus the piston or the plunger gains its potential energy. During the working stroke the accumulator is discharged to drive the machine.

The Benefits of a Weight-Loaded Accumulator

1. Used to satisfy the needs of heavy industry
2. Exceptionally high capacity at a reasonable price
3. Construction is tough and long-lasting.

Weight Loaded Accumulator Drawbacks

1. Extremely hefty and massive
2. A problem with the seal
3. Unlike compressed gas accumulators, this type maintains a fairly constant pressure until the cylinder is empty, regardless of the volume of fluid in the cylinder.

2. Spring loaded accumulator – A Types of Accumulator

This type of accumulators is similar to that of the dead weight loaded type of accumulator. Spring loaded consists of spring in place of the is preloaded with the help of compression spring. It consists of a cylindrical body, a movable plunger and a compression spring.

Spring Loaded accumulator - Types of Accumulator

Spring Loaded accumulator – Types of Accumulator

Working of Spring Loaded Accumulator

In the beginning the spring is in a compressed stage which makes the hydraulic fluid to flow inside the cylinder of the accumulator. Load of the spring is responsible for the pressure inside the the spring gets compressed the pressure inside the accumulator gets increased. When the fluid gets discharged out of the cylinder the spring gets this method also the pressure exerted on the fluid is not constant as that of weight loaded type

3. Gas loaded type accumulator – A Types of Accumulator

This types of accumulator is also called as hydro pneumatic accumulator. This accumulator is widely used in many types of industries. This types of accumulator is classified into two. They are,

3.1 Non-separator type accumulator

It consists of fully enclosed shell containing pneumatic-loaded actuator, gas charging port in the top and oil port at the bottom. The gas is occupied on the top and the hydraulic fluid is present at the bottom since there is no membrane to separate the gas and the hydraulic fluid it is called as non-separator type accumulator.

Non separator type accumulator - Gas loaded type accumulator - types of Accumulator

Non separator type accumulator – Gas loaded type accumulator – types of Accumulator

Working of Non separator Gas loaded types of Accumulator

In this types of accumulator pressurization is achieved by the entry of pressurized gas into the cylinder. When the pressure of the machine increases the oil port opens and the oil enters the cylinder and the volume of the gas is reduced. This reduction in volume of the gas increases the pressure. This pressure gap or potential energy is used to drive the accumulator.

Separator type accumulator

The construction of the outer parts are similar to that of the non-separator type except that it consists of an additional piston separator or seal.

Separator type accumulator - Gas loaded type accumulator - Types of Accumulator

Separator type accumulator – Gas loaded type accumulator – Types of Accumulator

Working of Separator type Gas loaded types of Accumulator

The piston serves as the barrier between the gas and the hydraulic fluid. The working is similar to that of the non-separator type of accumulator. The gas gets compressed when the charged oil pushes the piston against it. The reduction in volume of the gas increases the pressure. This pressure gap or potential energy is used to force the oil out of cylinder when it is required in the circuit.

Advantages of Gas Bladder Type Accumulator

1. Acting quickly
2. Contamination is impossible.
3. Consists of identical action under similar circumstances.

Drawbacks of Gas Bladder Type Accumulator

1. The compression ratio is restricted (Approximately 4:1)
2. Bladder problems

Hydraulic Diaphragm Accumulator – A Types of Accumulator

Accumulators in the diaphragm work similarly to bladder accumulators. The distinction is that this variant employs an elastic diaphragm to divide the oil and gas volumes instead of a rubber bladder. Diaphragm accumulators are low-cost, compact, and light-weight devices with a modest flow and volume—usually approximately one gallon.


Because the rubber barrier does not deform as much as a bladder, a diaphragm accumulator can tolerate larger compression ratios of up to 8 to 10:1. They also provide more mounting options, are less susceptible to contamination, and respond fast to pressure changes, making them ideal for shock applications.

Accumulators are energy storage devices that might be used to enhance pump flow, enhance system responsiveness, or act as a backup in the event of a power outage. They can also minimise vibration, pulsations, and shock by compensating for leakage or thermal expansion.

Hydraulic Piston Accumulator – A Types of Accumulator

A piston accumulator works in the same way as a hydraulic cylinder except the rod. A conventional piston accumulator, like other accumulators, has a fluid and gas portion, with the sliding piston dividing the two sides. Piston accumulators, which use a spring or a heavy weight to impart force to the piston instead of high-pressure gas, are less popular.

Piston accumulators are often used for large storage capacities (up to 100 gallons) and high flow rates. Only the design limits is the pressure ratio, however it’s typically not advised for shock applications. They are frequently designed for tough, heavy-duty purposes. They are, however, more susceptible to contamination, which can damage the seals—though many piston accumulators can be fixed simply by replacing the piston seals.


What is the life expectancy of a hydraulic accumulator?

A hydraulic accumulator’s standard life span is 12 years. Periodic inspection and re-certification are needed in several countries. This is especially true for hydraulic accumulators that have huge capacities and operate at high operating pressures.

Applications of Hydraulic Accumulators

Hydraulic accumulators are devices that store fluid power in order to perform the following tasks:

1. Periodic pulsations and shocks should be dampened.
2. Increase the operating circuit’s speed.
3. Jaw vices and fittings are held in place by clamping mechanisms.
4. Circuits for standby power supply
5. Circuits for reducing surges
6. Agricultural equipment and machinery
7. Forestry machinery
8. Offshore and oil fields
9. Off-road equipment and machine tools
10. Machines and equipment used in mining
11. Construction and mobile equipment
12. Suspension in automobiles

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