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# Applied Mechanics and Materials Vol 657 (2014) pp 624-628 Online: 2014-10-08

## (2014) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland

doi:10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.657.624

## Functional Diagram for Modeling the Electromagnetic

Ball Valve with Cylindrical Seat
ZAHARIEA Dnu
Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iasi, Faculty of Machine Manufacturing
and Industrial Management, Department of Fluid Mechanics, Fluid Machinery
and Fluid Power Systems, Bv. D. Mangeron, No. 59A, 700050, Iasi, Romania
dzahariea@gmail.com

Keywords: electromagnetic ball valve, cylindrical seat, functional diagram, modeling, MATLAB,
Simscape/SimHydraulics.

Abstract. The main objective of this work is to perform numerical analysis of an electromagnetic
normally-closed direct-acting ball valve with cylindrical seat. A functional diagram is developed
using the MATLAB/Simscape/SimHydraulics programming language. The principal elements of
the functional diagram are: the fixed-displacement hydraulic pump, the ball valve which is driven
by an electromagnetic actuator, the pressure-relief valve, pressure and volumetric flow rate
measuring devices and the hydraulic pipes. Two sets of analyses are performed, the first one for an
ideal case, without the effects that are associated with the hydraulic pipes and the second one for the
real case, with these effects. The valve flow factor is presented, comparatively, for both cases, as
well as the volumetric flow rates through the ball valve and the pressure relief valve, and finally the
pressure drop in the valve.

Introduction
The electromagnetic valves are wide used as control devices by switching on or off the fluid
flow in hydraulic systems. There are many classification criterions of electromagnetic valves, such
as: the variable orifice geometry (ball with cylindrical seat, ball with conical seat, needle and
poppet); the valve type according to the de-energized state (normally-closed valve NC, normally-
open valve NO); the acting type (direct-acting valve, internally piloted valve). Recent developments
are focused on optimization models of the valves [1], as well as on the cavitations flow through the
valve [2]. All the relevant electromagnetic ball valve specific data (including the valve flow factor,
Kv ) can be found on the product data sheet. However, there is a strong correlation between the
electromagnetic actuator characteristics, the ball valve parameters and the global parameters of the
hydraulic system. In this paper a functional diagram for modeling an electromagnetic ball valve
with cylindrical seat will be presented. The simulation will be performed with and without the
hydraulic system effects in order to observe the influence of these effects on the ball valve
functional characteristics. The most important effects associated with the hydraulic circuit are: the
fluid inertia, the fluid compressibility, the viscoelastic properties relates with the pipe internal
diameter to pressure variations, and the pressure losses caused by the linear and local resistances.

## MATLAB/Simscape/SimHydraulics Functional Diagram

To better understand the electromagnetic ball valve behavior, as well as to analyze the basic
parameters (flow rate and pressure) of the hydraulic system which are close correlated with the
valve dynamics, in Fig. 1 is presented the functional diagram for modeling a normally-closed direct-
acting ball valve with cylindrical seat. The functional diagram has been developed using the
MATLAB/Simscape/SimHydraulics computing environment [3].
Simscape/SimHydraulics [4, 5] are computational toolboxes inside MATLAB programming
language, which provides functional elements for modeling and simulating general physical
systems, respectively hydraulic systems.

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Applied Mechanics and Materials Vol. 657 625

Valv e Open

Electromagnetic Actuator

Q Qbv S
A B I B
E A
Discharge Pipe Flow Rate Sensor BV Ball Valve

Differential Manometer
A pA p pB
pA-pB dp
pA
Results Manometer

A
Motor Q Qprv
P A B I
E
S S Return Pipe
T By-pass Pipe Flow Rate Sensor PRV

B
Fixed-Displacement
Pump

A
B

Pressure Relief
f(x)=0 Valve

B
Suction Pipe
Solver
Configuration
A

Hydraulic Fluid
R
V

Tank

Fig. 1. Functional diagram for modeling the electromagnetic ball valve with cylindrical seat.

The hydraulic power unit is composed by the fixed displacement pump, the tank and the pressure
relief valve. The parameters of the hydraulic pump are: the fixed displacement D = 510-6 m3/rad,
the volumetric efficiency v =0.92, the total efficiency t =0.8, the nominal pressure pn =100 bar, the
nominal speed nn =1500 rpm, the nominal kinematic viscosity n =18 cSt. The inlet section of the
hydraulic pump is connected with the tank through the suction pipe with the pipe diameter ds =10
mm, the pipe length Ls =1 m, the aggregate equivalent length of local resistances Lse =0.1 m.
The fixed displacement pump is driven by an ideal motor that will generate constant velocity
regardless of the torque exerted on the system. The functional diagram of the ideal motor is
presented in Fig. 2. The motor speed will start from zero and will rise to 1500 rpm at 0.3 s, having
three characteristic intermediate values: 500 rpm at 0.1 s, 1000 rpm at 0.15 s and 1400 rpm at 0.2 s.
The speed measuring unit is set to [rpm] using the Simulink-PS Converter n. The motor speed
signal is generated using the Signal Builder block and the pump shaft speed is simulated using the
Ideal Angular Velocity Source functional element.
The pressure-relief valve will protect the hydraulic elements when the pressure exceeds the
design limit allowing the fluid to be diverted through the by-pass pine back to the tank. The
principal parameters of the pressure relief valve are: the relief valve pressure setting is 90 bar, the
relief valve regulation range is 5 bar, and the maximum passage area is equivalent with a 5 mm
diameter orifice. When the relief valve pressure setting is exceeded, the relief valve will open and
therefore the fluid will be discharged to the tank through the by-pass pipe with the pipe diameter
db =10 mm, the pipe length Lb =1 m, the aggregate equivalent length of local resistances Lbe =0.1 m.
In order to measure the fluid flow rate diverted through the by-pass pipe, a fluid flow rate sensor
identified by the name Flow Rate Sensor PRV is installed on that pipe. The functional diagram of
the flow rate sensor is presented in Fig. 3. The measuring unit of the fluid flow rate, which is set in
this case to [m3/h], is controlled using the PS-Simulink Converter Q.
When the pressure inside the hydraulic system is smaller than the set pressure of the relief valve,
the pressure relief valve will close and the fluid discharged by the pump will flow through the main
hydraulic circuit composed by: the discharge pipe, the ball valve and after that, back to the tank
626 Engineering Solutions and Technologies in Manufacturing

through the return pipe. The principal parameters of the discharge pipe are: the pipe diameter dd =10
mm, the pipe length Ld =5 m, the aggregate equivalent length of local resistances Lde =0.1 m. The
principal parameters of the return pipe are: the pipe diameter dr =10 mm, the pipe length Lr =5 m, the
aggregate equivalent length of local resistances Lre =0.1 m. The second fluid flow rate sensor
identified by the name Flow Rate Sensor BV is installed on the discharge pipe. The functional
diagram of this second flow rate sensor is identical with that one presented in Fig. 3, including the
measuring unit which is set also to [m3/h].
Ideal Angular
Velocity Source PS S 1
Group 1
Signal 1 S PS S Q
Signal Builder Q
Converter n S 1 A
B 2
I
Hydraulic Flow Rate E
MRR
Sensor
Fig. 2. Functional diagram for modeling the pump motor. Fig. 3. Functional diagram for modeling the Flow
Rate Sensor PRV.

As for the ball valve, the main characteristic parameters are: the valve ball diameter=6 mm, the
cylindrical seat diameter=5 mm, the initial opening=0.01 mm and the leakage area=10-12 m2. The
ball valve opening is defined using the Electromagnetic Actuator subsystem presented in Fig. 4.
The Pulse Generator block will generate a DC electric signal having the amplitude of 24 V, the
period of 8 s and the pulse width of 50% of signal period. This signal applied on the 2-Position
Valve Actuator, will generate the valve opening signal. The main characteristic of the actuator are:
the push-pin stroke=3 mm (and, as consequence, the ball valve travel will be 3 mm as well), the
switching-on time=1 s, the switching-off time=1 s, the nominal signal value=24 V.
U x S PS

Converter
S PS 1
Valve Open
Generator Converter Actuator

## Fig. 4. Functional diagram for modeling the Electromagnetic Actuator.

Measuring the discharge pressure and the pressure drop in the ball valve is performed using one
manometer and one differential manometer, which are presented in Fig. 5. Both manometers have
the measuring unit set to [bar] by means of the PS-Simulink Converter p.
1
P PS S 1
1 A pB
B pA
Hydraulic Pressure Converter p 2 A
P PS S 1
Sensor pA
Hydraulic Reference Hydraulic Pressure pA-pB
Sensor
Converter p

## a) manometer b) differential manometer

Fig. 5. Functional diagram for modeling the pressure measurement devices.

Numerical Results
There are performed two sets of analyses, the first one for an ideal case, without the effects that
are associated with the hydraulic circuit and the second one for the real case, with these effects. One
of the most important characteristic parameter of the ball valve is the flow factor, Kv :

Kv =Q 1000p , (1)

where Q [m3/h] is the volumetric flow rate, [kg/m3] is the fluid density and p [bar] is the
pressure drop in the ball valve.
Applied Mechanics and Materials Vol. 657 627

In Fig. 6 is presented the dimensionless valve flow factor Kv Kvmax with respect to the
dimensionless ball valve travel xxmax 100 [%], where 0% travel coresspond to the valve full close
and 100% travel coresspond to the valve full open and Kvmax and xmax are the maximum values of
the valve flow factor and ball valve travel. The first diagram, Fig. 6.a, has been obtained for a
maximum ball valve travel xmax =3 mm. It can be observed that even at xxmax 60%, the valve
flow factor reaches its maximum value, which leads to the conclusion that the ball valve travel is
oversized. Thats why the maximum ball valve travel has been reduced from xmax =3 mm to
xmax =1.8 mm, Fig. 6.b.
1 1
0.75 0.75
Kv/Kvmax

Kv/Kvmax
0.5 0.5
0.25 0.25
0 0
0 25 50 75 100 0 25 50 75 100
x/xmax [%] x/xmax [%]
a) travel 3 mm b) travel 1.8 mm
Fig. 6. Dimensionless valve flow factor (ideal case).

## The input and output signals of the 30 2

electromagnetic actuator are presented in Fig. 7. U(t)
The voltage U [V] of the electric current applied to x(t)

x [mm]
U [V]

## the electromagnetic actuator is a pulse signal which 15 1

will generate a translational displacement x [mm]
of the push-pin. There is a phase delay between
these two signals because of the switching-on and
0 0
switching-off times of the actuator. 0 2 4 6 8
The volumetric flow rate through the ball valve t [s]
is presented in Fig. 8 for the real and the ideal Fig. 7. Input and output signals of the
cases. For the real case, a peak with a high electromagnetic actuator.
overshoot at the end of the opening travel time can 4
be observed.
Qbv [m /h]

3

## volumetric flow rate through the pressure relief 2

valve. High peaks can be observed too, but in this real
case at the end of the valve closing travel time ideal
when pressure rise until the maximum value. These 0
peaks are evolving into a high oscillating under- 0 2 4 6 8
damped dynamics during all the valve closing t [s]
Fig. 8. Volumetric flow rate through the valve.
period.
As for the pressure drop in the ball valve, which
4
is represented in Fig. 10, the same under-damped
real
response can be observed, but with smaller
Qprv [m /h]

ideal
3

overshoots.
In Fig. 11 the influence of the hydraulic system 2
effects on the valve flow factor can be observed.
The case presented in Fig. 11,a, correspond to the
initial case with ball valve travel xmax =3 mm. 0
0 2 4 6 8
Reducing the ball valve travel to xmax =1.8 mm t [s]
will improve the ball valve behavior, Fig. 11,b; but Fig. 9. Volumetric flow rate through the
still can be observed a relevant difference with pressure relief valve.
respect to the ideal case, Fig. 6,b.
628 Engineering Solutions and Technologies in Manufacturing

## For the ideal case presented in Fig. 6, there is 100

only one curve for both operating phases of the real
valve (the opening and the closing travel times).

p [bar]
ideal
On the other hand, if the hydraulic system 50
effects are considered, as shown in Fig. 11, a
hysteresis-like phenomenon can be observed
related to the valve flow factor, because there are 0
two curves, one for opening travel time and the 0 2 4 6 8
other for the closing travel time. t [s]
Fig. 10. Pressure drop in the ball valve.
1 1
opening opening
0.75 0.75
Kv/Kvmax

Kv/Kvmax
0.5 0.5
closing closing
0.25 0.25
0 0
0 25 50 75 100 0 25 50 75 100
x/xmax [%] x/xmax [%]
a) travel 3 mm b) travel 1.8 mm
Fig. 11. Dimensionless valve flow factor (real case).

Conclusions
The valve flow factor diagram obtained for the ideal case corresponds to a valve with quick
opening travel time, Fig. 6. However, when the same valve is analyzed on a real hydraulic circuit it
can be observed a considerable delay, approximately 2530%, in the volumetric fluid flow rising
process, Fig. 11.b. The hysteresis-like phenomenon obtained on the valve flow factor analysis is
related strictly with the hydraulic circuit and implies further investigations. Considering the
hydraulic system effects, has the tendency to move the valve flow factor curve away from the ideal
shape, toward a square root characteristic.
The oversizing of the ball valve travel time can be easily detected using the valve flow factor
characteristic, with or without the piping effects, Fig. 11 and Fig. 6.
The under-damped response has been observed on two critical points: at the end of valve travel
time on the opening phase for the volumetric flow rate through the valve, Fig. 8; as well as on the
end of valve closing travel time, for the pressure drop in the valve, Fig. 10, and for the volumetric
flow rate through the pressure relief valve, Fig. 9.

References
[1] W. Chen, The Optimal Design of Electromagnetic Ball Valve with MATLAB Optimization
Toolbox, Advanced Material Research. 510 (2012) 277-282.
[2] J.R. Valdes, J.M. Rodriguez, R. Monge, J.C. Pena, T. Putz, Numerical Simulation and
Experimental Validation of the Cavitating Flow Through a Ball Check Valve, Energy Conversion
and Management. 78, (2014) 776-786.
[3] D. Zahariea, Simulation of Physical Systems in MATLAB, (in Romanian), PIM Publishing
House, Iai, 2010.
[4] Mathworks, Simscape Documentation, available at: http://www.mathworks.com/help/physmod/
simscape/index.html, accesed 18.01.2014.
[5] Mathworks, SimHydraulics Documentation, available at: http://www.mathworks.com/help/
physmod/hydro/index.html, accesed 18.01.2014.
Engineering Solutions and Technologies in Manufacturing
10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.657

Functional Diagram for Modeling the Electromagnetic Ball Valve with Cylindrical Seat
10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.657.624

DOI References
[1] W. Chen, The Optimal Design of Electromagnetic Ball Valve with MATLAB Optimization Toolbox,
Advanced Material Research. 510 (2012) 277-282.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMR.510.277