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Randall T. Anderson2

e-mail: randalltanderson@eaton.com

Spool Flow Control Servovalve

Perry Y. Li

e-mail: pli@me.umn.edu

Using a Pressure Control Pilot1

A nonlinear dynamic model for an unconventional, commercially available electrohydrau-

Department of Mechanical Engineering, lic flow control servovalve is presented. The two stage valve differs from the conventional

University of Minnesota, servovalve design in that: it uses a pressure control pilot stage; the boost stage uses two

111 Church St. SE, spools, instead of a single spool, to meter flow into and out of the valve separately; and

Minneapolis, MN 55455 it does not require a feedback wire and ball. Consequently, the valve is significantly less

expensive. The proposed model captures the nonlinear and dynamic effects. The model

has been coded in Matlab/Simulink and experimentally validated.

DOI: 10.1115/1.1485287

I Introduction the physical design of the valves. Anderson who holds the patent

on the design presented simplified linear models in 5. A com-

The vast majority of flow control servovalves in existence em-

plete derivation of the model, such as the loading effect of each

ploy a double flapper nozzle pilot stage and a single spool boost

subsystems on each other is, however, not presented. Although the

stage. A stiff feedback spring is generally used to provide feed-

importance of the nonlinearities associated with the valves is men-

back from the boost stage to the pilot. These types of servovalves

tioned, they are not included in these simplified models. In this

tend to be difficult to manufacture and expensive. A less conven-

paper, an experimentally validated physical model of the valve is

tional, less costly type of flow control servovalve 1,2 utilizes a

presented. The model takes into account nonlinear effects such as

two-spool boost stage and a flapper nozzle pressure control pilot.

flow forces, nonlinear magnetic effects, and chamber fluid com-

Because a feedback wire between the nozzle flapper pilot and the

pressibility. The model is capable of predicting the dynamic out-

boost stage is not needed, assembly is simplified. The two spools

put flow rate when time trajectories of the electrical current input

in the boost stage are spring loaded and meter flow into and out of

and of the work port pressures are given. The model prediction

the valve separately. The main advantages of the two-spool/

compares favorably with experimental data. In a companion paper

pressure control pilot design are: 1 ease of manufacturing; 2

6, the model is used to provide a basis for the analysis for

lower costs; 3 higher degree of adjustment; and 4 greater

performance limitation and for the dynamic redesign to improve

safety. Because flow into and out of the valve are metered sepa-

performance. It will be demonstrated how the structure of

rately using separate spools, the required machining accuracy of

the interconnection of the subsystems limits the dynamic

the land lengths and of the metering edges are significantly re-

performance.

duced. The shorter bore lengths enable better machining of the

After this paper was first submitted, the authors were made

metering edges. Electrical displacement transducers are not nec-

aware of the earlier modeling efforts by Akers and co-workers on

essary. The main cost advantage stems from the fact that the two

valves related to the one investigated here. They presented a

porting edges can be independently machined, so that each bore

model for a two-stage, two-spool pressure control valve in 7. A

only has one critical axial dimension, in contrast to a conventional

model for the two-spool two-stage flow control valve similar to

design in which three critical dimensions are interrelated to each

the one in this paper was presented at the ASME Winter Annual

other. In addition, the two spool design allows the use of modular

Meeting in 8. Differences between the two models will be dis-

components, the boost stage housing needs machining only from

cussed after the presentation of the model.

two sides. The valve can also be easily adjusted for different ap-

The rest of the paper is organized as follows. The basic opera-

plications since each spool can be independently positioned. The

tion of the valve is given in Section II. The models for each

two-spool design is also potentially safer because unless both

subsystem are then developed. The models for the pilot and the

spools are jammed open, flow can be shutoff by either spool.

boost stages are presented in Sections III and IV, respectively, the

Servovalves that utilize the two-spool/pressure control pilot de-

chamber pressure dynamics are given in Section V, and the output

sign have a better cost/performance ratio, although they do have

flow equations are given in Section VI. In Section VII, simulation

lower performance open loop bandwidth than their conventional

issues are discussed. Simulation and experimental results are

counterparts.

shown in Section VIII. Conclusions are given in Section IX. A

The objective of this paper is to present a complete and vali-

table of nomenclature appears at the end of the paper.

dated nonlinear dynamic model for this unconventional two-stage

two-spool valve, with similar details as in the models for conven-

tional servovalves, which are readily available e.g. 3,4. This is

II Operation of the Two-Spool Valve

needed in order to predict system performance and stability, and to A schematic of the flow control servovalve using a two-spool

design control systems in high performance applications. A math- boost stage, and pressure control pilot design is shown in Fig. 1. It

ematical model relating the various physical parameters to perfor- consists of two distinct stagesa pilot and a boost stage, sepa-

mance can also be used to predict and improve the performance in rated by a simple transition plate and connected via two pressure

chambers. The pilot stage is a pressure control pilot 9, which

1

An abridged version of this paper was first presented at the ASME IMECE 2000 uses a double nozzle flapper design. The boost stage of the valve

in Orlando, FL. consists of two separate spring centered spools which meter flow

2

R. Anderson is currently at Eaton Corporation, Eden Prairie, MN. into and out of the valve separately.

Contributed by the Dynamic Systems and Control Division for publication in the

JOURNAL OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS, MEASUREMENT, AND CONTROL. Manuscript

Roughly speaking, the pressure control pilot stage generates a

received by the Dynamic Systems and Control Division February 2001. Associate differential pilot pressure i.e., the pressure difference between the

Editor: N. Manring. two pressure chambers proportional to the electrical current input

420 Vol. 124, SEPTEMBER 2002 Copyright 2002 by ASME Transactions of the ASME

Fig. 1 Schematic of the two spool flow control valve using a pressure control pilot

in the chambers acts on the two ends of both spools. Since the

spools are spring centered, the steady-state displacements of the

spools are roughly proportional to the differential pilot pressure

and inversely proportional to the total stiffness which would in-

clude effects of steady-state flow forces. Flows into and out of

the valve are metered by the displacements of the spools. Notice

that a feedback wire between the boost stage and the pilot stage is

not used in this design. The interconnection between the sub-

systems of the valve is shown in Fig. 2.

A more detailed discussion of the operation of the valve fol-

lows. Suppose that the electrical current is the input to the coil of

the torque motor at the top part of the valve in Fig. 1. The current

in the coil, together with the magnetic armature, generates a

torque, which in turn rotates the armature and flapper in the

counter-clockwise motion about the pivot point where the arma-

ture and the flapper intersect. Note that in Fig. 1, bold arrows

correspond to the direction of fluid flow. As the flapper is dis-

placed to the right left, the nozzle opening on the right left

decreases and the opening on the left right increases. This in turn

raises P 2 and lowers P 1 or vice versa in the pressure chambers.

The differential pressure P 2 P 1 , therefore, has the effect of re-

storing the flapper to its neutral position. As will be seen later, the Fig. 2 Signal flow and subsystem interconnection diagram of

torque provided by the torque motor increases with the flapper the valve

Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control SEPTEMBER 2002, Vol. 124 421

displacement. Thus, it presents itself as a negative stiffness. By

magnetizing/demagnetizing the permanent magnet in the torque

motor, this negative stiffness is used to cancel out the mechanical

stiffness of the pivot 5. When this is true, the torque generated in

the torque motor will be balanced predominantly by the differen-

tial pressure P 2 P 1 . Consequently, in the steady state, the dif-

ferential pressure will be roughly proportional to the input current.

The pilot pressures, P 1 and P 2 , act on the two ends of each

spool. A positive negative differential pressure P 2 P 1 causes

both spools to move in the upward downward direction. As

spools A and B move upward downward, hydraulic oil is ported

from the supply to port B A on one side, and from port A B

into the tank on the other, creating flows Q b and Q a , respectively.

As the spools displace, flows Q 1 to and Q 2 from the pilot stage

are also created.

The regulation of the spool displacements hence the flow rate

is achieved in two ways. Primarily, displacements of the spools

are resisted by the compression of the springs. Thus, in the steady

Fig. 3 Free body diagram of the armature-flapper

state, the displacement of each spool would be proportional to the

differential pilot pressure and inversely proportional to the spring

stiffness. Secondarily, the displaced fluid volume above and below

the spools also tend to reduce the differential pressure. Therefore, 3 2 r-plateA a A b NM o

the upward downward spool displacement and velocity tend to

decrease P 2 P 1 . These effects in turn affect the flapper displace- 4 r-plateA a A b G g M 2o r-siliconA a A g G b M 2o

ment and the differential pilot pressure. If the system is stable, the

spool will reach an equilibrium displacement. 2 r-plateA b A g G a M 2o

1 r-plateA a A b G 2g r-siliconA a A g G b G g 2 r-plateA b A g G a G g

2 r-plateA a A b .

III Pilot Stage Dynamics

Next, the moment due to the trim spring is considered. Because

We now derive the physical model for each subsystem, begin-

there are two trim springs with spring constant K k , the total coun-

ning with the pilot stage. The free body diagram of the armature-

terclockwise moment due to the trim spring is:

flapper assembly is shown in Fig. 3. Note that O is the pivot point

supported on a torsional beam spring, and is the anti-clockwise L k F k 2K k x k 2K k L k . (3)

angular displacement of the armature-flapper, which is assumed to

be small. Nozzle forces on the flapper are given by 3:

The armature-flapper is subjected to the magnetic force, F g , F f P 2 P 1 A n 4 C d2 f x f o x f 2 P 2 x f o x f 2 P 1 (4)

generated at the top air gap, the trim spring force, F k , at the top

end of the armature, the damping moment B f on the armature where the first term corresponds to the static pressure force, and

created as the armature moves in the silicon oil that fills the area the second term corresponds to the flow forces at the nozzle, and

above the flapper, the moment K p due to the pivot stiffness, and x f L f is the displacement of the flapper.

the flow and pressure forces due to the nozzle, F f . L k , L g , and The pivot spring of the armature-flapper is a rectangular beam,

L f are the moment arms about the pivot O for the trim spring therefore, the pivot stiffness in-lb/rad is 10:

force, the magnetic force F g and the nozzle flow force F f ,

respectively.

The magnetic force, F g , is found by analyzing the magnetic

K p 2

16 3

h t w t3 16

3.36

wt

ht

1

w t4

12h t4

G

Lf

(5)

circuit shown in Fig. 4. R a is the reluctance due to the lower air which is valid for w t h t .

gap between the magnetic plate and the armature, while R b is the Summing moment about the pivot, we obtain:

reluctance between the polepieces and the magnetic plate. R 1 and

R 2 correspond to the reluctances at the two top air gaps between

the polepieces and the armature. They are functions of the linear

armature displacement, x g L g .

Referring to Fig. 4, the magnetic force in the air gap is given by

3:

F g 4.42108 0A g

21 22

lb, (1)

1 i 2 i 2 x g 3 ix 2g 4 x g

F g 0 (2)

1 2 x 2g 2

where

0 4.42x108 o r-silicon

2

r-plateA a A b A g

1 2 r-plateG g NM o 2A b G a A g A a A b G g

Fig. 4 Armature magnetic circuit. R 1 , R 2 represent the vari-

2 r-siliconA g G g A a G b NM o able air-gaps; R a , R b represent the fixed air-gaps. N " i and M 0

are the MMFs due to the input current and the permanent mag-

2 4 r-plateA a A b G g N 2 net, respectively.

C d j C w P a P T cos j x a

J F g L g F k L k F f L f K p B f (6)

where J is the moment of inertia of the armature-flapper. L p C d j w 2 P sb P a x a x a 0

Using the relationships x f /L f x g /L g , 6 can be written in F F,A (10)

C d j C w P sb P a cos j x a

terms of x f and x f . This way, we obtain a second-order model for

the pilot stage in the form of L p C d j w 2 P sb P a x a x a 0.

x f f pilot x f ,x f ,i, P 1 , P 2 (7) where the first term corresponds to the steady-state flow force, and

where x f and x f are states, and i, P 1 and P 2 are the inputs. the second term corresponds to the transient flow force. In Eq.

10, the effect of clearance can be taken in account by replacing

IV Boost Stage Dynamics x a by sign(x a ) x 2a C r2 in the first term. Notice that regardless of

the sign of x a , the steady-state flow force is always restoring and

The model for the boost stage is developed next. We need to acts like a spring to close the valve. On the other hand, the tran-

derive the dynamic equations that describe the two spools. We sient flow force is proportional to the spool velocity. It acts like a

will analyze spool A in Fig. 5 in detail. The equations for spool B positive stabilizing damping when x a 0 when flow is being me-

can be similarly derived. We assume the spools are designed to be tered out of the valve. However, when x a 0 when flow is being

critically centered. In Fig. 5, the spool is subjected to the differ- metered into the valve, it acts like a negative, unstable damping.

ential pilot pressure, a force due to the centering spring, viscous Transient flow forces therefore can be a source of valve instability.

friction and flow forces. Equating forces on the spool yields the A recent investigation into the benefits of exploiting the instability

following: induced by transient flow force is given in 11.

M s x a P 2 P 1 A s 2K s x a F V F F,A (8) In Eq. 10, L p , is the damping length, which is the length of

the fluid column that undergoes acceleration. The transient flow

where RHS are forces due to the differential pressure, 2K s x s is the force is therefore proportional to the damping length. For the

force due to the two centering springs of stiffness K s , F F,A cor- valve being considered, L p depends on the spool displacement:

responds to the flow forces, and F V is the viscous damping force.

Assuming a perfectly centered spool in a bore 3, the viscous 1

damping force is: L p L po x

2 a

D sL s

F V x a . (9) where L po is the damping length when the spool displacement is

Cr

zero. Since the stroke lengths of the main spools are about 20% of

The fluid flow forces F F that the spool encounters are sometimes L po , the transient flow force can be underestimated by as much as

called Bernoulli forces which arise due to the dynamics of the 10% if L p is assumed to be L po .

fluid flow. There are two types of flow forces: steady-state flow In Eq. 10, j is the fluid jet angle of the vena contracta. It is a

forces and transient flow forces. Steady-state flow forces are due nonlinear function of x a /C r 3. j varies from 69 deg at large

to the angle of the vena contracta as the fluid is metered into or spool displacements to 21 deg at small orifice openings. These

out of the valve. They depend on the flow rate and hence the spool differences can cause large deviations in the steady-state flow

displacement. Transient flow forces, on the other hand, are the force term (cos(21deg)/cos(69deg)2.6). Thus, using only a

reactive forces associated with the acceleration of the fluid in the constant jet angle throughout the range of spool displacements

spool chamber. Thus, they are dependent on the rate of change of may not be adequate. To account for this variation, the variation in

flow and the spool velocity. The signs of the steady-state and jet angle when the orifice opening varies is explicitly modeled

transient components depend on the spool displacements, veloci- using a high order polynomial to represent the nonlinear depen-

ties, and on whether the spool is metering flow into or out of the dence of j on x s /C r as shown in 3.

valve. Following 3, the fluid flow forces on spool A are given The dynamics for spool B can be similarly obtained:

by:

D sL s

M s x b P 2 P 1 A s 2K s x b x b F F,B , (11)

Cr

C d j C w P sb P b cos j x b

F F,B

L p C d j w 2 P sb P b x b ,

C d j C w P b P T cos j x b

L p C d j w 2 P b P T x b ,

x b 0

x b 0.

(12)

ics of the two spools are described by two sets of second order

dynamic systems, of the form:

x a f sp1 x a ,x a , P 1 P 2 , P a (13)

x b f sp2 x b ,x b , P 1 P 2 , P b (14)

are the states, and the differential chamber pressure P 1 P 2 and

work port pressures P a , P b are the inputs. Notice that the work

port pressures affect the spool dynamics only via the flow forces

Fig. 5 Free body diagram for spool A in Eqs. 10 and 12.

Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control SEPTEMBER 2002, Vol. 124 423

V Chamber Pressure Dynamics VI Flow Equations

The pilot pressures P 1 and P 2 are needed as inputs to both the As the spools in the boost stage move, flow is either metered

pilot Eq. 7, and the boost stage Eqs. 1314 dynamics. These into or out of the valve through the orifice. In addition to the

are determined by the compressibility of the fluid in the chambers orifice flow, the total flow at the work ports is also contributed by

between the pilot stage and the boost stage. leakage flows through the spool-bore clearance see Fig. 6. Leak-

The chamber pressures P 1 and P 2 are determined by the basic age is again modeled by laminar flow in an annulus between an

hydraulic compressibility equations: annular shaft and a concentric cylinder.

For spool A in Fig. 6, when the spool displacement is positive

Q 1 V 1 upwards, the flow paths 1, 5, 6 are active; and for negative

P 1 (15) displacements, flow paths 3, 5, 6 are active. Therefore, the flow

V 1 t

into the valve from the work port A is:

P 2

Q 2 V 2

V 2 t

, (16) C d wx a 2 P a P T D b C r3 P a P T

12 L li x a

where V 1 (t) and V 2 (t) are the volumes of the chambers between D b C r3 P sb P a

the top of the spools and the left flapper face, and between the x a 0

bottoms of the spools and the right flapper face, respectively, Q 1 12 L li x a

Q a

and Q 2 are the total flows into the chambers. Recall that an up-

ward spool displacement is defined to be positive. The chamber 2 P sb P a D b C r3 P a P T

C d wx a

volumes and their derivatives are therefore given by: 12 L li x a

V 1 V 1o A s x a A s x b , (17) D b C r3 P sb P a

x a 0.

12 L li x a

V 2 V 2o A s x a A s x b (18) (25)

V 1 A s x a A s x b , (19) The first term in each of the two cases correspond to the orifice

flow, and the other terms correspond to the leakage. Notice that

V 2 A s x a A s x b (20) when x a 0, the orifice flow term Q a is negative indicating fluid

flows out of the valve.

where V 1o and V 2o are the fluid volumes in all the lines and For spool B and for positive spool displacement, the flow paths

chambers between spool ends and the flapper when the spools are 2, 7, 8 are active in Fig. 6. When the spool displacement is nega-

centered (x a x b 0). tive, flow paths 4, 7, 8 are active. Hence,

The flows Q 1 and Q 2 into the chambers comprise of the flow

from the pilot supply orifice, leakage past the nozzle, and leakage 2 P sb P b D b C r3 P sb P b

C d wx b

12 L li x b

past the spools. Combining these three contributions, we get:

D b C r3 P b P T

2 2 x b 0

Q 1 C d0 A 0 P P 1 C d f D n x f 0 x f P 12 L li x b

sp 1 Q b

D b C r3 P 1

D b C r3 P sb P 1

(21)

C d wx b 2 P b P T D b C r3 P sb P b

12 L li x b

12 L l0 x a 12 L l0 x b

D b C r3 P b P T

x b 0.

2 2 12 L li x b

Q 2 C d0 A 0 P P 2 C d f D n x f 0 x f P (26)

sp 2

D b C r3 P sb P 2 D b C r3 P 2

(22)

12 L l0 x a 12 L l0 x b

where the leakages are modeled to be laminar flows in an annulus

between a annular shaft and a concentric cylinder 3. From 15

and 21 and 16 and 22, one can see that the chamber pres-

sure dynamics are stable since increase in P i decreases flow Q i ,

which in term decreases P i .

Substituting Eqs. 1722 into Eq. 1516, we have

P 1 f cham1 P 1 ,x f ,x a ,x b ,x a ,x b (23)

P 2 f cham2 P 2 ,x f ,x a ,x b ,x a ,x b (24)

where P 1 and P 2 are the respective states, and the flapper dis-

placements and the spool displacements and velocities are the

inputs.

At this point, all of the necessary differential equations have

been developed to describe the pilot stage, spool A, spool B, and

the chamber pressures, P 1 and P 2 . There are, in total, eight state

variables. Next, we describe how the output flows at the work Fig. 6 Flow paths when spools are displaced from null

ports are related to the states of the valve. positions

Notice that Eqs. 2526 have been derived with the assumption subsystems pilot, boost, pressure chambers and the output flow

that 0 P T P a , P b P sb . The signs of the terms in 2526 equations, have been developed in a complete manner without

must be suitably modified if this assumption is violated. Equations resorting to empirical simplifications. All the parameters of the

2526 define the flow that enters the valve through work port models, except for the pilot damping coefficient B f , are estimated

A, and the flow that leaves the valve through work port B. Beyond from the component characteristics and the physical valve design.

the work ports, there are other losses, including channels in the B f is determined to match the experimental results. The sub-

body, lines, fittings, etc. These should also be taken into consid- systems were coded using the S-Function facility instead of com-

eration when calculating the flow in a complete system. pletely graphically because of the model complexities.

Notice that the S-Function for the pilot stage receives as inputs,

VII MatlabSimulink Model the input current i and the pilot pressures P 1 , P 2 on the flapper.

Each of the spool S-Functions also receive the same pilot pres-

The dynamic models for the pilot stage, Eq. 7, boost stage sures P 1 , and P 2 , work port pressure drop P L and boost stage

Eqs. 1314, and the chamber pressure dynamics Eqs. 23 supply pressure P sb . The work port pressures P a and P b are

24 can be connected to each other, and to a hydraulic device, calculated according to 2728 in the subsystems given the

such as in Fig. 2, into a simulation model. The combined model load pressure P L and the spool displacements x a , x b .

will be capable of predicting the flows Q a , Q b into and out of the Notice in Fig. 7 that the operation of the two-spool/pressure

work ports, given the input of the time trajectories of the electrical control pilot valve utilizes two feedback loops in its design. The

input current, i, and the two work port pressures P a , P b . principal feedback loop consists of the pilot stage, and the pres-

In order to simplify the testing procedure, it will be convenient sure dynamics. This feedback loop controls the differential pilot

to assume that Q a Q b , i.e., the valve is connected to volume pressure. The secondary loop involves the boost stage and the

conserving devices such as a double ended cylinder or a hydrau- pressure dynamics.

lic motor. This allows us to specify only the load-pressure, P L As mentioned in the Introduction, a similar model for the two-

P b P a , instead of specifying P a and P b independently. To stage two-spool flow control valve was presented in 8. There are

this end, we calculate P a and P b given P L . Equating the output some differences between the present model and the one in 8.

flows in Eq. 2526, and neglecting the leakage flows, we ob- For example, the nonlinearity in the coefficients L p and j for

tain for usual combinations of x a , and x b : both the steady state and transient flow forces are treated in Eq.

If x a , x b 0 10 whereas in 8 are treated as constants. More importantly, in

x 2b P sb P L x 2b P sb x 2a P L this paper, we do not assume an apparent flapper pivot stiffness.

P a , P b (27) Rather, the flapper dynamics Eq. 6 are computed based on first

x 2a x 2b x 2a x 2b principles, accounting for the magnetics, mechanical stiffnesses,

If x a , x b 0 and pressure forces. In 8, however, the negative stiffness due to

the magnetics in the torque motor is assumed to cancel out the

x 2a P sb x 2b P L x 2a P sb P L flappers mechanical stiffness. As is shown in 6, the value of the

P a , P b . (28)

x 2a x 2b x 2a x 2b apparent mechanical stiffness can be important in the determina-

tion of the dominant valve dynamics.

When x a and x b are of different signs which generally does not

occur, it would be necessary to assume that P a or P b is either

above P sb or below P T . In this situation, the simplifying assump- VIII Simulation and Experimental Results

tion that Q a Q b is probably not valid. To validate the model, the Simulink model is exercised and the

With the simplification that Q a Q b , the Matlab/Simulink results compared with experimental results under similar condi-

model with the subsystem inter-connections and the input and tions. The experimental setup Fig. 8 consists of the two-spool

output connections is shown in Fig. 7. The model of each of the flow control valve connected to a flow motor via a set of butterfly

valves. The speed of the flow motor is measured via a magnetic

pulse pick up and provides the surrogate flow measurement. The

current input to the valve can be adjusted continuously using a

computer. The butterfly valves can be adjusted offline to simulate

different load pressures P L . The pilot pressures, P 1 and P 2 , as

well as the work port pressures P a and P b are measured.

A Steady-State Response. The steady-state flow Q versus

current i at no load and Q versus load pressure P L at various

current is plots are used to assess the steady-state response Fig.

9. For the Q versus i plot, the current was varied between 40

Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control SEPTEMBER 2002, Vol. 124 425

Fig. 9 Steady-state response. Top: flow Q a versus input cur-

rent; bottom: flow Q a versus load pressures P L at various cur-

rents i .

simulation and experiments show excellent match. Despite a

slight hysteresis, the relationship between input current i and no-

load flow Q is quite linear.

To obtain the Q versus P L plot, the load pressure was varied

between 0 psi to 3075 psi ( P sb ) slowly. Figure 9 shows the fa-

miliar square root power relationship, as expected from Eqs. Fig. 10 Step responses. Input steps are square waves with

2526. Multiple experiments are included in Fig. 9 and the peaks of 10 mA, 20 mA, and 30 mA.

resolution of the flow measurement during this experiment was set

at only 0.1 gpm. So the range and the discrete nature of the mul-

Notice that the simulation and experimental results match well up

tiple dots corresponds to the measurement uncertainty and the

to 150 Hz for the magnitude plot, and up to 20 Hz for the phase

limited resolution. Notice that the simulation results fall within

plot. The 3 dB bandwidths of both the experimental system and

this range.

of the model are approximately 15-20 Hz. This bandwidth is

B Dynamic Responses. To evaluate the time response of slightly slower than what the manufacturer claims 30 Hz. The

the valve, various step current inputs at near zero load pressure

drop were applied to the model and to the experimental setup.

Because of the limitation of the current driver in the experimental

setup, the actual current steps were not ideal and there were slight

overshoots and finite rise times about 8 ms. The nonideal step

current inputs were measured during the experiments and were

also used as the input for the simulations. The near step responses

are shown in Fig. 10. Notice that the experimental and simulated

responses are very similar; both showing 64% rise-times of ap-

proximately 20 to 30 ms. Notice from Fig. 10 that the experimen-

tal data has a time delay of about 4 ms relative to the simulation.

This may be an artifact of our data acquisition system or due to

the flow motor used for flow measurement having a finite inertia.

Also, the hydraulic lines used in the experiments are quite flex-

ible. These can also cause some overshoot. This is confirmed by a

later test conducted with the valve mounted directly on the flow

motor in which the large overshoot was not present not shown.

Taking into account the risetime of the input step, and the mea-

surement delay, the actual 64% risetime of the system is about 8

msec. This is consistent with the finding in 6 that the dominant

eigenvalue of the linearized valve dynamics is around 135 rad/s.

C Frequency Response. The frequency response is investi-

gated next. The frequency response Fig. 11 was obtained by

superimposing a 3 mA swept sinusoidal chirp current on a D.C. Fig. 11 Frequency responses measured at 20 mA D.C. input

biased current (20 mA-50%) at a zero load pressure. Experimen- superimposed by 3 mA sinusoid. Top: magnitude plot, bot-

tally, the frequency response was obtained via an FFT analyzer. tom: phase.

difference in phase responses at higher frequencies between the Lf length from pivot to center of nozzle

experimental system and the model may be due to time lag/flow Lg length from pivot to center of top air

measurement dynamics e.g., inertia of the flow motor and the L li initial spool length for inner leakage

time lag in the velocity pick up. L lo initial spool length for outer leakage

Lp length between work port and jet

IX Conclusions L po initial length between work port and orifice jet

An experimentally validated, first principle mathematical dy- Ls total spool length in contact with bore for

namic model of an unconventional, relatively inexpensive flow damping 2(L li L lo )

control servovalve with a two-spool boost stage and a pressure lt length of one side of pivot bar

control pilot design has been developed. The model consists of the Mo permanent magnet MMF

interconnection between the pilot stage, the two spools in the Ms spool mass

boost stage, chamber pressures dynamics, and output flow rela- N number of coil turns orifice

tionships. The model has been implemented using Matlab/ P1 , P2 pilot pressures

Simulink. Steady-state and dynamic responses show good agree- Pa pressure of port A

ment between simulation, experimental results, and manufacturer Pb pressure of port B

specifications 2. The proposed model can be used to predict PL pressure drop across the work ports

performance and to provide insights for improving the design of P sb supply pressure to boost

the valve. It will also be useful in the design and analysis of P sp supply pressure to pilot spool

control systems that utilize this valve in higher performance ap- R a ,R b fixed reluctances in magnetic circuit

plications. Improved performance of this relatively inexpensive R 1 ,R 2 variable reluctances in magnetic circuit

servovalve, either through improved physical design, or through w orifice area gradient

the use of advanced control, can potentially expand the use of wt width of pivot cross section

electrohydraulics in cost constrained applications. xa spool A position

xb spool B position

xf flapper to nozzle distance

Acknowledgments xfo flapper to nozzle distance at null

The authors thank Sauer-Danfoss Inc., Minneapolis, MN for the xg position of armature at top air gap

use of experimental facilities and Mr. Wayne R. Anderson of xs spool position in general

Sauer-Danfoss Inc. for helpful discussions. The authors also thank bulk Modulus of hydraulic oil

an anonymous reviewer for alerting us to the works by Akers and density of hydraulic fluid

co-workers. This work was performed as part of R. T. Andersons viscosity of hydraulic fluid

BSME Honor Thesis at the University of Minnesota. 0 permeability of free space

rplate relative permeability of nonmagnetic spacer

Nomenclature plate

A a ,A b ,A g air gap cross-sectional areas rsilicon relative permeability of air

An nozzle area plate permeability of nonmagnetic spacer plate in

Ao supply orifice area magnetic circuit ( silicon rsilicon o )

As spool area silicon permeability of silicon in magnetic circuit

Bf damping coefficient of pilot stage ( silicon rsilicon o )

Cdf flapper-nozzle discharge coefficient rotation angle of flapper-armature

Cdj jet discharge coefficient j jet angle of fluid at spool orifice

C do supply orifice discharge coefficient References

Cr radial clearance between bore

1 Anderson, Wayne R., 1983, Two Member Boost Stage Valve for a Hydraulic

Cv velocity coefficient Control, Tech. Rep. 4537220, US Patent.

Db bore diameter 2 Sauer-Danfoss Inc., Product Description: KVF97 Flow Control Servovalve,

Dn nozzle diameter 1997, BLN-95-9061-1.

Dn pilot nozzle diameter 3 Merritt, Herbert E., 1967, Hydraulic Control Systems, Wiley, New York.

4 Wang, D., Dolid, R., Donath, M., and Albright, J., 1988, Development and

Do supply orifice diameter Verification of a Two-Stage Flow Control Servovalve Model, Proceedings of

Ds spool diameter the ASME Winter Annual Meeting, 1995, Vol. FPST-Vol. 2, pp. 121129.

FF flow force on spool 5 Anderson, Wayne R., 1988, Controlling Electrohydraulic Systems, Marcel

Ff pressure and flow forces on flapper Dekker, NY.

6 Li, Perry Y., 2001, Dynamic Redesign of a Flow Control Servovalve Using a

Fg attractive force between magnetized parallel Pressure Control Pilot, Proceedings of the ASME. Dynamic Systems and

surfaces separated by an air gap Control Division, IMECE New York, NY, Vol. IMECE2001-DSC-24563;

Fk trim spring force on armature published in this issue ASME J. Dyn. Syst., Meas., Control, 1243, pp.

F P1 ,F P2 spring forces on spool 428 434.

7 Tsai, S. T., Akers, A., and Lin, S. J., 1991, Modeling and Dynamic Evaluation

F S1 ,F S2 spring forces on spool of a Two-Stage Two-Spool Servovalve Used for Pressure Control, ASME J.

FV viscous damping force on spool Dyn. Syst., Meas., Control, 113, Dec., pp. 709713.

G shear modulus of material 8 Lin, S-C. J., and Akers, A., 1990, Modeling and Analysis of the Dynamics of

G a ,G b ,G g air gap lengths Gg is at null gap a Flow Control Servovalve That Uses a Two-Spool Configuration, Proceed-

ings of the ASME-Winter Annual Meeting, Vol. 90-WA/FPST-3.

ht height of pivot cross section 9 Sauer-Danfoss Inc., Product Description: MCV116 Pressure Control Pilot

i input current Valve, 1999, BLN-95-9033-1.

J mass moment of inertia of armature-flapper 10 R. J. Roark and W. C. Young, Formulae for Stress and Strain, Fifth edition,

assembly McGraw Hill, New York.

11 Krishnaswamy, Kailash, and Li, Perry Y., 2002, On Using Unstable Electro-

Kk spring constant of trim springs hydraulic Valves for Control, pp. 36153619, ASME J. Dyn. Syst., Meas.,

Kp pivot Stiffness of armature-flapper Control, 124, Mar., pp. 183190. also, Proceedings of 2000 American Control

Ks spring constant of spool springs Conference.

Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control SEPTEMBER 2002, Vol. 124 427

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