Many mobile and industrial applications experience severe shock when a moving part – such as a bucket or boom – stops suddenly. Quick closing valves or pump start/stop cycles can trigger water hammer-type ripples that travel through the system and that can build to peak pressures well in excess of the normal operating pressure. These shock waves can produce harsh noises or worse, damage upstream components, leading to system failure. Piping can also excite a natural harmonic that resonates throughout the system, again causing damage. Absorbing Shock The incorporation of an accumulator into such systems enables these surges to be absorbed by the entrapped gas, thereby reducing their harmful effects.
Regardless of the source of the shock – and whether you are designing for it, or it arrives as an unexpected visitor – a properly designed accumulator can reduce (and in many cases eliminate) the undesired results of the shock. While piston accumulators can be implemented in these systems, more commonly a bladder accumulator is chosen for its quick response.