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Working principle of gas loaded accumulators

The operating principle of gas-loaded accumulators is primarily based on the compressibility of gases. An initial pressure environment is established in the accumulator by filling it with a gas of predetermined pressure (e.g. air or nitrogen). When the pressure of the external system exceeds the pressure of the gas inside the accumulator, the oil begins to compress the gas so that the gas volume decreases, thus storing energy. The compression of the gas in this process follows Boyle’s law, which states that the pressure of a gas of a certain mass is inversely proportional to its volume at a constant temperature.

When the pressure of the external system is lower than the pressure of the gas inside the accumulator, the gas in the accumulator begins to expand, releasing the stored energy and propelling the oil to flow to the external system, thus replenishing or maintaining the pressure of the system. This process of storing and releasing energy enables the gas-loaded accumulator to play a role in balancing pressure, stabilizing flow and absorbing shocks in the system.

Gas-loaded accumulators are available in a variety of configurations, such as diaphragm, piston, balloon and non-isolated. Each structure has its own specific advantages and disadvantages and applicable scenarios. For example, the airbag accumulator has the advantages of large volume, sensitive response, not easy to leakage, but need to be placed vertically and pay attention to the choice of inflation pressure. The diaphragm accumulator has the characteristics of small volume, light weight, fast response, etc., but the pressure and volume are relatively small.

In practice, gas-loaded accumulators are often used to balance the system’s instantaneous pressure fluctuations, absorb the pressure pulsation of the hydraulic pump, or in the system shutdown to maintain a certain pressure to ensure stable operation of the system.

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