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The difference between bladder accumulator and diaphragm accumulator

Bladder accumulators and diaphragm accumulators are two types of hydraulic accumulators, each with its own unique characteristics. Here are the main differences between them:

Internal Structure:

Bladder Accumulator: A bladder accumulator consists of a cylindrical shell containing a bladder or capsule filled with gas or fluid. The bladder separates the gas or fluid from the hydraulic fluid. The bladder can expand or contract as the gas or fluid enters or exits the accumulator.

Diaphragm Accumulator: A diaphragm accumulator consists of a cylindrical shell divided into two chambers by a flexible diaphragm. One chamber contains the gas or fluid, while the other chamber contains the hydraulic fluid. The flexible diaphragm separates the two fluids.

Construction:

Bladder Accumulator: Capsule accumulators typically have a more compact design compared to diaphragm accumulators. The bladder or capsule inside the shell is usually made of reinforced rubber or a similar flexible material.

Diaphragm Accumulator: Diaphragm accumulators have a simpler construction with a single flexible diaphragm separating the gas or fluid from the hydraulic fluid. The diaphragm is typically made of elastomeric materials such as rubber or synthetic polymers.

Operation:

Bladder Accumulator: In a capsule accumulator, the bladder or capsule expands or contracts to accommodate changes in volume as the gas or fluid enters or exits the accumulator. The bladder acts as a barrier between the gas or fluid and the hydraulic fluid, allowing for energy storage.

Diaphragm Accumulator: In a diaphragm accumulator, the flexible diaphragm expands or contracts as the gas or fluid enters or exits the accumulator. The diaphragm separates the gas or fluid from the hydraulic fluid and stores potential energy in the pressurized hydraulic fluid.

Applications:

Bladder Accumulator: Capsule accumulators are commonly used in applications where space is limited or where a compact design is required. They are suitable for high-pressure systems and can handle rapid pressure changes.

Diaphragm Accumulator: Diaphragm accumulators are versatile and widely used in various hydraulic systems, including industrial machinery, automotive applications, and fluid power systems. They are suitable for a wide range of pressures and temperatures.

Pressure Rating:

Bladder Accumulator: Capsule accumulators typically have a higher pressure rating compared to diaphragm accumulators due to their reinforced construction and compact design.

Diaphragm Accumulator: Diaphragm accumulators may have lower pressure ratings compared to capsule accumulators but offer advantages in terms of flexibility, ease of maintenance, and compatibility with different fluids.

In summary, bladder accumulators and diaphragm accumulators differ in their internal structure, construction, operation, applications, and pressure ratings. The choice between them depends on specific system requirements, including space constraints, pressure levels, and fluid compatibility.

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