An accumulator fits into a fluid system to regulate the pressure within the system. Liquid systems generally have a push effect, a specific control will push the fluid to enable another component to move. For example, you push your brake pedal and the hydraulic fluid will push the pads against the discs.
The movement of fluid creates energy which causes a buildup of pressure. That pressure needs to be controlled for the system to work effectively. The accumulator offers this pressure regulation, you simply need to choose between diaphragm accumulators, piston, or bladder.
Each has its own place.
How Diaphragm Accumulators Work
Diaphragm accumulators are actually a type of hydropneumatic accumulator, they have a flexible diaphragm that sits between the fluid in the system and the gas required to maintain pressure.
The diaphragm accumulator sits on the hydraulic system via a standard three-way valve. This allows fluid to enter through the bottom of the accumulator. It will fill the chamber until the pressure between the liquid equals the gas in the other side of the chamber. As pressure drops in the system, the diaphragm will move to reduce the amount of fluid in the chamber, maintaining pressure. Equally, if pressure rises in the system the diaphragm will be forced back up, again equalizing pressure.
Diaphragm accumulators arrive pre-charged but you’ll need to check and balance the pressure regularly to ensure it remains within your defined limits.
Diaphragm accumulators should also have a valve at the bottom, if they become completely empty the valve should shut the hydraulic outlet when the accumulator is empty, preventing damage to the diaphragm.
The Right Supplier
The key to choosing the right diaphragm accumulators is in understanding the fluid you’re dealing with and the pressure and volume required in your system. This will define the size of your diaphragm and the material plus thickness it is made from.
It’s also important to know the operating temperature, if the temperature of the gas gets too low it can crack the accumulator.
You also need the right manufacturer. SAIP S.R.L has in excess of 40 years of experience in creating accumulators and was the first company to build hydropneumatic diaphragm accumulators. They have knowledgeable staff who are waiting to help you calculate the exact dimensions and pressures you need for your system to work efficiently and effectively.
SAIP S.R.L. specializes in accumulators but has a huge amount of experience in creating diaphragm accumulators, they need to be your first port of call.