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A hydraulic accumulator is a device in which potential energy is stored in the form of a compressed gas or spring, or by a raised weight to be used to exert a force against a relatively in compressible fluid.

They are used in fluid power systems to accumulate energy and to smooth out pulsations. A hydraulic system utilizing an accumulator can use a smaller fluid pump since the accumulator stores energy from the pump during low demand periods. This energy is available for instantaneous use, released upon demand at a rate many times greater than could be supplied by the pump alone.

A hydraulic accumulator is a pressure storage reservoir in which a non-compressible hydraulic fluid is held under pressure by an external source. The external source can be a spring, a raised weight, or a compressed gas. An accumulator enables a hydraulic system to cope with extremes of demand using a less powerful pump, to respond more quickly to a temporary demand, and to smooth out pulsations. It is a type of energy storage device.

Accumulators can also act as surge or pulsation absorbers, much as an air dome is used on pulsating piston or rotary pumps. They will cushion hydraulic hammer, reducing shocks caused by rapid operation or sudden starting and stopping of power cylinders in a hydraulic circuit.

There are four principal types of accumulators, the weight loaded piston type, diaphragm (or bladder) type, spring type and the hydro pneumatic piston type. The weight loaded type was the first used but is much larger and heavier for its capacity than modern piston and bladder types. Both the weighted type, and mechanical spring type are very seldom used today. The hydro-pneumatic types use a gas as a spring cushion in conjunction with a hydraulic fluid, the gas and fluid being separated by a thin diaphragm or a piston. Tobul  accumulators, having an aluminum piston of low inertia as standard equipment, are superior to other makes in absorbing either high or low frequency pulsations.


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