Steelhead Composite Accumulators

Steelhead Composite Accumulators

Steelhead Composites lightweight, high-pressure aluminum-lined composite overwrapped accumulators are ideal for industries with weight-sensitive applications.   These accumulators are one-third to one-quarter the weight of traditional steel accumulators, while offering the same functionality.


The lighweight yet strong and durable construction of these accumulators results in high power density and the potential for much lower installation and maintenance costs.

Steelhead Composite Accumulators

In mobile applications every pound added to a vehicle increases fuel consumption. Light-weighting components on a vehicle results in significant fuel savings. Lightweight accumulators often reduce the need for expensive lifting equipment (cranes, etc.) used for transport to the location and on-site installation. For stationary applications, less movement and vibration induced wear-and-tear on ancillary components. Lightweight accumulators eliminate the need for heavy equipment and pose less risk of lifting injury and less labor to install. These are just some of the benefits of lighweight, high-pressure accumulators: fuel savings, remote locations, on-site transport, stationary applications, labor and safety.

Lightweighting Explained:

Typically light-weighting is a method of combining advanced technology to manufacture similar component parts at a fraction of the weight. Steelhead Composites applies these principals to hydro-pneumatic bladder accumulators.

Light-weighting is a well-known term in the automotive world and Steelhead Composites hopes to introduce this technology into many different industries including hydraulic hybrid, mobile equipment, oil and gas, industrial, wind turbines, maritime, aerospace and many more.


Unique Qualities of a Steelhead Accumulator

Since Steelhead Composites has taken a grounds-up approach to designing a composite accumulator, it has some unique featuers:

    • Steelhead has optimized the size of the composite accumulators to integrate with hydraulic hybrid vehicles and is currently offering these vessels in 10 inch (250 mm) internal diameter. This is different from traditional steel accumulators which have inside diameter of 8 inches (200 mm). Because of their larger internal diameter Steelhead’s accumulators allow for more internal volume and energy storage capability for a given vehicle chassis length. Steelhead has exclusive ownership of the tools and molds required to produce bladders, aluminum liners and port fittings for these larger diameter accumulators.

    • The operating pressure of Steelhead’s composite accumulators is 6,000 psi (414 bar). This is higher than the industry standard operating pressure of 5,000 psi (350 bar) offered typically in steel accumulators.

    • Composite accumulators offered by competitors are typically adapted from heritage designs of vessels meant for gaseous storage and have relatively small port openings, 2.5 inch (63.5mm) or less. Steelhead’s composite accumulators have been designed with a larger port opening on the hydraulic end, 3.5 inch (89 mm) diameter or larger. A large port opening poses a significant design challenge for the composite vessel. Steelhead has overcome this challenge through extensive design iterations and proprietary technology to strengthen the polar opening. The large port opening allows for better flow rates of hydraulic fluid and easy installation of the bladder. It also accommodates a bladder with higher wall thickness that results in low permeability and longer life span for the bladders.