Different Types of Hydraulic Accumulators

Hydraulic accumulators are used in hydraulic systems to store energy in the form of pressurized fluid. Though the standard role of these devices is the same, they come in several types which are fit to handle specific operations. As such, it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of each of these types and their general capabilities. In the following blog you can find an in-depth look at hydraulic accumulators and their various applications.

What Are Hydraulic Accumulators?

Hydraulic accumulators generally consist of a cylinder with an internal mechanism that can hold and release pressurized hydraulic fluid as needed. They are designed to lend more control over hydraulics systems so that energy can be stored, rather than needing to operate at a continuous flow. A pump attached to the accumulator initially brings pressurized liquid in and then disperses it to the system when required. This process can be very useful for boosting efficiency of your hydraulic systems as accumulators have the potential to store a large amount of energy and release the same when needed by the machine. Moreover, hydraulic accumulators are classified by the systems they use to store energy, and there are currently three types of hydraulic accumulators: weight loaded, spring loaded, and gas loaded.

Weight Loaded Accumulators

This type of accumulator is equipped with a piston that is loaded with dead weight. When the piston moves within the cylinder, it exerts pressure on the hydraulic fluid, which can be maintained for as long as the piston is engaged. For their bulk and size, weight-loaded accumulators are limited to usage in stationary equipment that generally includes heavy-duty presses where large loads are necessary.

Spring Loaded Accumulators

This type of accumulator relies on a spring loaded piston to store energy. Hydraulic fluid enters the accumulator from one side of the cylinder and is stored under pressure by the leveraging force of the spring pushing from the other side. When the spring is fully compressed, the pressure also reaches its peak and will drop back to a minimum when the spring expands to its entire length. These accumulators are favored in applications where space is a constraint, and the work is done in smaller volumes. This includes mobile and automotive hydraulic systems.

Gas Loaded Accumulators

Gas loaded accumulators, also called hydro-pneumatic accumulators, are divided into two general categories: non-separator and separator.

Non-separator Type Accumulators: In a non-separator type device, the entry of pressurized gas into the cylinder results in pressurization. When the pressurized gas enters the cylinder, it necessarily opens the fluid port, after which, the liquid enters the cylinder and reduces the volume of gas. This process further increases the pressure enough to drive the accumulator. These accumulators are used where the hydraulic fluid processed in a system comes with a high separate-ability so that the slightest missing of gasses does not result in complications.

Separator Type Accumulators: In a separator type accumulator, the piston works as a barrier between the hydraulic fluid and gas. As a result, when the pressurized fluid pushes the piston, it automatically results in gas compression which increases pressure. This pressure can be used to force fluid out of the cylinder when needed in the circuit. Moreover, there are three types of separator type accumulators that include:

  • Bladder Type Accumulators: These accumulators employ a bladder that functions as a flexible separator between the gas and hydraulic fluid.
  • Diagram Type Accumulators: These accumulators use a diaphragm as an elastic separator which is fixed to the container walls.
  • Piston Type Accumulators: In these accumulators, the piston acts as the separation between the hydraulic fluid and compressed gas in the cylinder.

The applications for separator type accumulators are many, and it ultimately depends on the separator type. Bladder type accumulators can often be seen in wheel suspensions of vehicles, whereas diaphragm type accumulators help wherever a system requires high pressure with small volumes. In contrast, piston type accumulators may be preferred in high-temperature systems where the volume requirements are much smaller.


Hydraulic accumulators are essential equipment which can store massive amounts of energy in the form of pressurized fluid to be released when required. This capability makes them an invaluable addition to aircraft machinery. On Purchasing Sphere, our customers gain access to an inventory of over 2 billion new and obsolete aviation components, NSN parts, and more. Furthermore, our widespread supply network allows our inventory to be available with short lead times and competitive prices. Using our easy-to-navigate catalog, we invite you to send us an Instant RFQ form today to receive a competitive quote for your comparisons on any of the parts we offer in 15 minutes or less!


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