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Approaches to Testing the Expansion Pressure of a Diaphragm Accumulator

Testing the expansion pressure of a diaphragm accumulator involves ensuring that the accumulator’s pre-charge pressure is correctly set and that the accumulator functions correctly under various operating conditions. Several approaches can be taken to test the expansion pressure of a diaphragm accumulator. Here are some common methods:

1. Pre-Charge Pressure Test

Objective: To ensure the pre-charge pressure (nitrogen charge) is set to the manufacturer’s specified value.


  • Step 1: Isolate the accumulator from the hydraulic system.
  • Step 2: Connect a pressure gauge to the gas charging valve of the accumulator.
  • Step 3: Slowly open the gas valve to read the pre-charge pressure.
  • Step 4: Compare the measured pressure with the specified pre-charge pressure. Adjust if necessary using a nitrogen gas bottle and charging kit.
  • Step 5: Record the pre-charge pressure and ensure it is within acceptable limits.

2. Hydraulic Pressure Test

Objective: To verify the accumulator’s response to hydraulic pressure changes and ensure it operates correctly within the system’s pressure range.


  • Step 1: Integrate the accumulator into the hydraulic system.
  • Step 2: Gradually pressurize the hydraulic system using a hydraulic pump.
  • Step 3: Monitor the pressure gauge on the hydraulic side of the accumulator.
  • Step 4: Observe the expansion and contraction of the diaphragm in response to changes in hydraulic pressure.
  • Step 5: Check for any leaks or abnormal noises during operation.
  • Step 6: Record the pressure readings and compare them with the expected values for system operation.

3. Leak Test

Objective: To ensure the accumulator is free from leaks on both the gas and hydraulic sides.


  • Step 1: Pressurize the gas side of the accumulator to the pre-charge pressure.
  • Step 2: Apply a soap solution to the gas charging valve and other potential leak points.
  • Step 3: Observe for any bubbles indicating gas leaks.
  • Step 4: Isolate the accumulator and pressurize the hydraulic side.
  • Step 5: Inspect for hydraulic fluid leaks around seals, fittings, and connections.
  • Step 6: Record any leak points and take necessary corrective actions.

4. Temperature Effect Test

Objective: To assess the accumulator’s performance under varying temperature conditions.


  • Step 1: Pre-charge the accumulator to the specified pressure.
  • Step 2: Subject the accumulator to different temperature conditions (e.g., ambient temperature, elevated temperatures, and sub-zero temperatures).
  • Step 3: Monitor the gas pre-charge pressure at each temperature condition using a pressure gauge.
  • Step 4: Compare the pre-charge pressure readings to ensure they remain within acceptable limits across the temperature range.
  • Step 5: Record the pressure changes and assess the impact of temperature variations on the accumulator’s performance.

5. Endurance Test

Objective: To evaluate the long-term durability and performance of the accumulator under cyclic loading conditions.


  • Step 1: Install the accumulator in a test rig capable of cyclic pressure loading.
  • Step 2: Apply repetitive hydraulic pressure cycles to the accumulator within its operational pressure range.
  • Step 3: Monitor the accumulator’s pressure response and check for any changes in performance over time.
  • Step 4: Record the number of cycles and observe for signs of wear, leakage, or diaphragm failure.
  • Step 5: Compare the results to the manufacturer’s specifications for cycle life and performance.

Equipment Required:

  • Pressure gauges (for both gas and hydraulic sides)
  • Nitrogen gas bottle and charging kit
  • Hydraulic pump
  • Soap solution (for leak detection)
  • Temperature-controlled chamber (for temperature effect test)
  • Test rig for cyclic pressure loading (for endurance test)

By following these testing approaches, you can ensure the diaphragm accumulator is properly charged, leak-free, and performs reliably under various conditions.



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