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Dithering: Final Report

Outline I. II. III. Abstract Introduction Background and Literature Review Selection a. Cracking point b. Dither c. Applications IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. System Description Simulink Diagram Experimental Procedure Experimental Results Conclusions Problems and Future Work

Abstract The purpose of this work is to investigate the effect of dithering on the cracking point of an electro-hydraulic valve. The project objectives were to investigate the effects of the dither signal frequency, amplitude, and waveform on the cracking point of the pilot valve component of the Caterpillar Electro-hydraulic bench located in Toomey Hall. Additional objectives such as investigating the effect of the oil temperature, supply pressure, and oil volume on the cracking point are addressed. An experiment was designed and conducted to analyze the previously mentioned objectives. A Simulink program containing the yellow block provided by Caterpillar was created to send a nominal control signal with a dither signal of desired amplitude, frequency, and waveform superimposed on the aforementioned signal. The outlet pressure (kPa) versus current (mA) and the outlet pressure versus time (s) were plotted and analyzed to determine the optimized dither signal characteristics. It will be seen in the following work that amplitude has little if any effect on the cracking point of the valve. The frequency of the dither signal seems to have the most affect on the cracking point of the valve. A frequency of 12.5 rad/s provides the optimal dither control signal for this work. It is also proven that the waveform has little effect on the cracking point. The sinusoidal and sawtooth waveforms perform similarly, while the square waveform is obviously deleterious to the cracking point. The majority of the tests conducted in this work were concerned with the extension of the piston. It would be practical that the dither signal designed in this project would perform similarly in the reverse direction, but it will be shown that the dither signal created in this work is not effective during piston retraction.

Introduction The following work is performed on the Caterpillar Electro-hydraulic bench located in Toomey Hall (Rm 201). The purpose of this work is to investigate the effect of dithering on the cracking point of an electro-hydraulic valve. A detailed literature review was conducted and the results can be seen in the following sections. The original project objectives were to investigate the effects of the dithering frequency, amplitude, and waveform shape, as well as the oil temperature, supply pressure and oil volume on the cracking point and subsequent oscillations in the pilot valve pressure. This work focuses on the effects of the frequency, amplitude, and waveform shape of the dithering signal on the cracking point of the pilot valve. The remaining objectives were not completed due to problems encountered during the course of the project. These problems will be discussed in the section entitled Problems and Future Work. The literature review provided a baseline for the determination of the frequency and amplitude range of the dither signal. Dither is defined as a low amplitude, high frequency signal. A signal with a frequency that is too low and that is applied to a mechanical system operated by a human being is not acceptable because the effects of the signal can be felt by the operator. The following discussion details the experiment that was created to determine the optimal dither signal, as well as the results for all test runs performed.

Background and Literature Review Selection Searches for previous work on signal dithering and the cracking point of an electrohydraulic produced a reasonable amount of resources. While understood by engineers, there is not a great deal of analytical work on dither signals in frictional systems [1]. Information on the

Caterpillar test bench, cracking point, and dithering can be found from the references available at Missouri S&T. The formal definition of the cracking point of a valve is the moment when it just begins to open. However, the measurement of the actual distance the valve has opened is impeded by the resolution of the position sensor and the physical meaning of the definition is not entirely clear. Since a sensor will always have a finite, nonzero resolution, a nominal value must be assigned to the cracking point. Currently, no standards exist to dictate the value of the cracking point. It has been suggested in [2], that the cracking point be defined as 1% of the full-open flow of a valve. In [3], a sixth-order, nonlinear model is derived fully describing the dynamics of system on the Caterpillar test bench. Then, it is reduced to a third-order model more suited to control. The system consists of three main parts: the solenoid pilot valve, the spool valve, and the hydraulic piston. The system input is current to the pilot valve and the output is the hydraulic piston position. Since no manufacturer information is given for the spool valve, it is treated as a black box and its behavior is derived using empirical methods. A method for determining the valve position using the flow rates and the pressures on either side of the spool valve, which can be measured using the flow meters and the pressure transducers, respectively, on the test bench, is given in [3] and will be used in this project. Numerous different types of engineering systems suffer from unwanted vibrations due to stiction. Examples, include pistons, servomechanisms, and brake systems. When a system is undergoing stiction, at the moment that the velocity begins to increase and the friction force decreases, stick-slip oscillations occur. Stiction is caused by the fact that the static coefficient of friction is higher than the dynamic coefficient of friction; when this interface is broken a sudden

release of stored elastic energy occurs leading to sudden movement. Friction is also the cause of many noise problems in mechanical systems. An example is the squeal in an automotive brake system. To combat this issue, a high frequency excitation is applied behind the brake pads, which reduces the squeal. It is a general practice to use a dither signal to mitigate oscillations caused by the stick-slip scenario discussed earlier. The reasoning behind this idea is that it is best to keep the frictional interface in constant motion so that stiction does not occur [4]. Dither, which is a low-amplitude, high-frequency signal that has been superimposed on some nominal control signal, will be used in the Caterpillar bench system. Other applications of dithering include digital audio and digital image processing. In the current application, the nominal signal is a current (mA) sent from the xPC system to the pilot valve on the Caterpillar test bench. Superimposed on the nominal signal is a current that varies in waveform, amplitude and frequency. It has been previously used on the test bench to reduce the effects of friction in the spool valve. The dither caused small oscillations in the spool valve and kept it in constant motion, where it is not subjected to static friction. However, in the current project, the effects of dither on overcoming the static friction in the pilot valve will be investigated.

System Description The Caterpillar Electro-hydraulic bench consists of four major components: ECU, pilot valve, spool valve, and hydraulic cylinder. Figure 1 shows the four components of the bench.

Figure 1. Caterpillar bench with labeled parts. The electronics portion includes the electronic control unit (ECU) and the xPC Target, which is a real time system that allows communication between the electronic and mechanical components of the system. The ECU is a black box built by Caterpillar that acquires data from the sensors and sends a signal to the xPC Target. The ECU is also capable of sending actuation control signals from the xPC Target to the mechanical system. Figure 2 shows both the ECU and the xPC Target [3].

Figure 2. Caterpillar Electro-hydraulic bench ECU and xPC Target The pilot valve is the connection between the electrical system and the mechanical system. The pilot valve consists of two individual valves as well as two individual solenoids. Figure 3 shows a brief schematic of the pilot valve [3].

Figure 3. Pilot Valve Schematic The pilot valve is actuated by the independent solenoids, which are activated by a current signal sent from the xPC Target through the ECU. Each valve is attached to a pilot hose and the
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pressure in each hose depends on the current applied to its respective solenoid. Attached to each pilot valve is a 500 Hz PWM pressure sensor. These pressure sensors enable the pressure in the hoses leading to the spool valve to be measured. The Simulink diagram discussed in future sections outputs the pressure in percent duty cycle. Equation 1 converts percent duty cycle to pressure in kilopascals. The conversion is [5] % DutyCycle ! ?Pin v 0.02048138A 5.98 where Pin is the pressure in kPaA. The spool valve is activated by the pressure differential in the pilot hoses. The purpose of the spool valve is to control the amount of hydraulic fluid available to the hydraulic piston by varying the size of the orifice. The direction of the hydraulic fluid flow is determined by the spool direction, which is a function of the pressure differential between the two pilot hoses. A schematic of the spool valve can be found in Figure 4 [3].
To/From Cylinder Port 1 To/From Cylinder Port 2 Spool

(1)

xv
Pilot Pressure 1 Pilot Pressure 2

Return

Supply

Figure 4. Schematic of Caterpillar bench spool valve The hydraulic cylinder consists of two chambers, each of which is connected to a spool output port. When the spool valve is activated the pressure in one chamber will increase or decrease while the pressure in the other chamber will remain constant, causing a pressure
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differential. This pressure differential will cause a net movement in the direction of the chamber with the lower pressure. Figure 5 pictures a schematic of the piston and cylinder, and the two chambers within the cylinder [3].

x
Port 1 Port 2

Figure 5. Schematic of Caterpillar bench piston and cylinder

Simulink The system diagram is pictured below in Figure 6. The diagram consists of the normal blocks found in the library as well as a special yellow toolbox provided by Caterpillar. The model is used to send a current signal from the xPC to the pilot valve solenoids. The ramp is the primary signal while the signal generator provides the dither signal of the desired waveform, amplitude, and frequency. The pressure in the hoses is measured using the pressure sensors located at the outlet of the pilot valve. The pressures data is then sent back to the xPC Target via the ECU.

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Figure 6. Simulink program used to send ramp and dither signal Experimental Procedure The cracking point of the pilot valve was characterized through a set of experiments. Table 1 shows the set of experiments completed in this work. In runs 1-17, the piston is returned to fully retracted position and current supply is such that the piston will extend. In runs 18-20, the piston is fully extended and current is supplied such that the piston will be retracted. Three waveforms were tested as a dither signal: sinusoid, saw tooth, and square wave. For each run and waveform the characteristics are presented. Additionally, two trials were supplied with an exponential decay on the signal so as not to affect the later time history of the outlet pressure.

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Table 1. Waveform type and characteristics for experimental trials RUN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Waveform Sinusoidal Sinusoidal Sinusoidal Sinusoidal Sinusoidal Sinusoidal Sawtooth Sawtooth Sawtooth Sawtooth Sawtooth Square Square Square Sin(Fullout) Sin(Fullout) Sin(Fullout) Exponential Decay (s) 1 1 Amplitude (A) 10 10 10 10 5 2.5 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 Frequency (rad/s) 50 50 50 50 50 50 25 12.5 12.5 50 25 12.5 12.5 12.5 12.5 25 50 12.5 25 50 Slope -1 -5 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 -10 Bias (A) -5 -2.5 -1.25 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -

Experimental Results The goal of the project is to investigate the effects of a dithered current (mA) signal supplied to the solenoid of the pilot valve on the cracking point of that valve. Measuring the flow across the valve and the inlet pressure to the valve are not possible with the current setup of the test benches. However, measuring the outlet pressure of the pilot valve gives a good indication of the when the valve opens. The valve is considered open, or cracked, when the outlet pressure reaches 5% of the full-open outlet pressure. A value of 5% was chosen to determine the cracking point, instead of 1% as suggested in the literature, due to the poor

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resolution of the position sensor and the failure of the linear encoder. In Figure 8, the cracking point of the valve is denoted by the dotted line. Three trial runs are represented on Figure 8; a ramped current signal is supplied to the pilot valve with slopes of 1 mA/s, 5 mA/s and 10 mA/s. It can be seen in Figure 8 that the current needed to open the valve increases with rate of change of current. However, in Figure 9 it can be seen that the time required to open the valve decreases with increased rate of change of current.

340 O u t le t p r e s s u r e ( k P a ) 290 240 190 140 90


5% line

Rate of sol. current, dI/dt=1 dI/dt=5 dI/dt=10

40 355 360 365 Solenoid current (mA) 370 375

Figure 8. Outlet pressure (kPa) vs. Solenoid current (mA) for different rate of solenoid current

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400 350 300 P re s s u re (k P a ) 250 200 150 100 50 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Time (s) 7 8 9 10 Rate of sol. current, dI/dt=1 dI/dt=5 dI/dt=10

Figure 9. Outlet pressure (kPa) vs. Time (s) for different rate of solenoid current In Figure 10, there are four distinct regions on the outlet pressure vs. current plot. The first region, denoted as region 1, encompasses the dead zone of the valve, where some current supply does not open the valve. Region 2 is the buildup of pressure needed to open the spool valve. Region 3 describes the buildup of pressure in the piston and region 4 denotes when the piston is moving.

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Figure 10. Typical outlet pressure (kPa) vs. Solenoid current (mA) plot Figure 11 shows the effect of the dither signal amplitude on the cracking point of the valve. A ramped current signal with a slope of -10 mA/s is added to a sinusoidal signal with frequency 50 rad/s and amplitudes of 10, 5 and 2.5 mA respectively, is supplied to the pilot valve. The ramp signal is saturated at -100 mA. To minimize the amount the valve closes, a bias is added to the signal. The bias applied is half that of the amplitude. It can be seen that there is a negligible effect on the cracking point when the amplitude of the dither signal is varied.

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E F F E C T O F D ITHE RIN G S IG NA L A M P LITU DE 450 400 350 O u tle t p re ss u re (k P a ) 300 250 200 150 100 5% line 50 0 350 A m plitude , A = 2.5 m A A= 5 mA A = 10 m A

355

360 365 370 S olenoid c urrent (m A )

375

380

Figure 11. Pressure (kPa) vs. Current (mA) for different amplitude of dithering (sinusoid) signal The outlet pressure was also plotted versus time in Figure 12. It can be seen that the signal with an amplitude of 2.5 mA has a slight lag when compared to the other two amplitudes. That being said there is a tradeoff between the amount of current needed and the time it takes to open the valve.

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350 O u t le t p r e s s u r e ( k P a ) 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 Time (s) 0.8 Amplitude, A=2.5mA A=5mA A=10mA

1.2

Figure 12. Pressure (kPa) vs. Time (s) for different amplitude of dithering (sinusoid) signal The next set of experimental trials varied the frequency at which the pilot solenoid current signal was applied. The amplitude of the sine wave was held constant at 10 mA and the frequencies varied from 50 rad/s to 25 rad/s then finally to 12.5 rad/s. Again, the sine wave is added to a ramped current signal with a slope of -10 mA/s that is saturated at -100 mA. Figure 13 shows the results. Contrary to Figure 4, the frequency of the signal appears to have not only an effect on the cracking point of the valve, but also on the rest of the outlet pressure curve. As the frequency decreases, it appears that less current is needed to open the valve, but the pressure experiences significant oscillations after the valve opens.

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EFFECT OF DITHERING SIGNAL FREQUENCY


450 400 350 O u tle t p r e s s u r e ( k P a ) 300 250 200 150 100
5% line

Frequency, F= 6 rad/s F= 12.5 rad/s F= 25 rad/s F= 50 rad/s

50 0 350 355 360 365 Solenoid current (m A) 370 375 380

Figure 13. Pressure (kPa) vs. Current (mA) for different frequencies of dithering (sinusoid) signal The outlet pressure was also plotted versus time in Figure 14. Figure 14 shows that a signal with a frequency of 12.5 rad/s slightly lags the signals with a frequency of 25 and 50 rad/s.

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350 300 O u t le t p r e s s u r e ( k P a ) 250 200 150 100 50 0 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 Time (s) 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 Frequency, f=12.5 rad/s f=25 rad/s f=50 rad/s

Figure 14. Pressure (kPa) vs. Time (s) for different frequencies of dithering (sinusoid) signal

To mitigate the effects of the low frequency signal, the sine wave (with amplitude 10 mA, frequency 12.5 rad/s and bias 5 mA) applied to the ramp signal was allowed to decay exponentially with a time constant of 1 sec. Figure 15 shows an example of a decaying sine wave.

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DE CA Y ING S INUS O ID DITHE RIN G S IG NA L 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 Current (m A ) 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 0 1 2 3 Tim e (s ) 4 5 6

Figure 15. An exponentially decaying sinusoidal dithering signal The effect of the decaying sinusoid signal can be seen in Figure 16. Additionally, it should be noted that the decaying signal has no discernible effect on the actual cracking point but reduces the oscillations after the valve opens. This is beneficial in reducing the variation to the system at higher pressures only when the time between opening the valve, closing the valve, and then reopening the valve is rather long. In order for the decaying sinusoidal dithering signal to be applied in practice, the signal would need to be regenerated each time the valve needs to be opened. If the valve is rapidly opened and closed, a non-decaying signal would be more efficient.

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DE CA Y ING S INU S O ID DITHE RING S IG NA L

350 300 O utlet press ure (k P a) 250 200 150 100 50 0 Non dec ay ing s ignal Dec ay ing s ignal, X= 1 s

10 15 S olenoid c urrent (m A )

20

25

Figure 16. Effect of decaying sinusoid dithering signal Next, the effects of applying a saw tooth wave were investigated. The same ramped signal applied to the sinusoidal trial runs was implemented for the saw tooth wave trials. Figure 17 shows the effect of varying the frequency of the saw tooth signal. The frequencies are the same as those used in the sinusoidal trials. Again, it appears that reducing the frequency reduces the amount of current needed to crack the valve.

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S A W TO O TH DITHE RING S IG N A L

350 300 O utlet press ure (k P a) 250 200 150 100 50 0 10 15 20 S olenoid c urrent (m A ) 25 30 F requenc y , F = 50 rad/s F = 25 rad/s F = 12.5 rad/s

Figure 17. Pressure (kPa) vs. Current (mA) for different frequency of dithering (sawtooth) signal

The same effect seen at low frequencies in the sinusoidal trials is seen in the saw tooth trials. To mitigate the effect, the saw tooth signal was allowed to decay; an example of one can be shown in Figure 18.

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DE C A Y ING S A W TO O TH D ITHE RING S IG NA L

0.6 0.4 0.2 Current (m A ) 0 -0.2 -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 -1 0 1 2 3 Tim e (s ) 4 5 6

Figure 18. An exponentially decaying saw tooth dithering signal The effects of allowing the singal to decay can be seen in Figure 19. As with the decaying sinusoidal signal, the cracking point of the signal is not cahnged, while the osciallations after the valve is open are significantly reduced.

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DE CA Y ING S A W TO O TH DITHE RING S IG NA L 350

300

O utlet press ure (k P a)

250 Non dec ay ing s ignal Dec ay ing s ignal, X= 1 s

200

150

100

50 5% line 0 5 10 15 S olenoid c urrent (m A ) 20 25

Figure 19. Effect of decaying saw tooth dithering signal Next, the effects of applying a square dither signal were investigated. The same ramped signal applied to the sinusoidal and saw tooth trial runs was implemented for the saw tooth wave trials. Figure 20 shows the effect of varying the frequency of the square dither signal. The frequencies are the same as those used in the sinusoidal and saw tooth trials. As expected, it appears that reducing the frequency reduces the amount of current needed to crack the valve.

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EFFECT OF FREQEUNCY OF SQUARE (DITHERING) SIGNAL 450 400 O u t le t p r e s s u r e ( k P a ) 350 300 250 200 150 100
5% line

Frequency, F= 12.5 rad/s F= 25 rad/s F= 50 rad/s

50 0 350 355 360 365 370 Solenoid current (mA) 375 380

Figure 20. Pressure (kPa) vs. Current (mA) for different frequency of dithering (square) signal

Figure 21 shows the affect of the waveform of the dithering signal on the cracking point. Three signal shapes were compared in this work: sinusoidal, sawtooth, and square. As seen in Figure 21, the undamped sinusoidal and sawtooth waveforms appear to crack at a lower current than the square dither signal. Ultimately, the difference between the sinusoidal and sawtooth waveform is negligible, as it is less than a 1 mA difference.

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450 400 O u t le t p r e s s u r e ( k P a ) 350 300 250 200 150 100


5% line

Sinusoidal dithering signal Saw tooth dithering signal Square dithering signal

50 350 355 360 365 370 Solenoid current (mA) 375

Figure 21. Effect of the shape of the dithering signal. Conclusion It can be concluded from this work that a dither signal is practical in applications where it is important to reduce the consequences of the stick-slip oscillations. The dither signal proves useful in the electro-hydraulic valve application. The success of this project depends on the optimization of the dither signal. It has been concluded that the dither signal amplitude has negligible effect on the cracking point of the valve. The dither signal waveform used in this work is that of a sinusoidal shape, due to the fact that the sawtooth waveform provided similar results and the square waveform performed poorly. It has been determined that the frequency of the dither signal has the greatest effect on the cracking point of the valve. The dither signal was optimized and the frequency of the dither signal was determined to be 12.5 rad/s.

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Problems and Future Work Initially the hydraulic bench had technical problems and was not working effectively. So the group spent reasonable time in trouble shooting and debugging the MATLAB (xPC target) program. We also encountered hardware problems with the computer. The computer was taken to Connie and she was able to free up some hard drive space, which reduced our problems considerable. Future work for other students may include determining the effects of oil temperature, supply pressure, and oil volume on the cracking point of the hydraulic valve. A formal design of experiments would also be a useful tool for experimentally determining the optimal dither signal.

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References 1. M.A. Michaux, A.A. Ferri, and K.A. Cunefare, Effect of Tangential Dither Signal on Friction Induced Oscillations in an SDOF Model, J. Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics, 2, pp. 201-210 (2007). 2. Johnson, Jack. L. Tech Zone-Hydraulic Valves. http://www.hydraulicspneumatics.com/200/TechZone/HydraulicValves/Article/False/948 0/TechZone-HydraulicValves. 3. Fenstermacher, D. Electro-Hydraulic Piston Control. 4. J.J. Thomsen, Using Fast Vibrations to Quench Friction-Induced Oscillations, J. Sound and Vibration, 228 (5), pp. 1079-1102 (1999). 5. T.D. Le, Iowa State University Software & Hardware Mechatronics Test Bench Setup.

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