Recent Advances in the Design Solutions of Electro-Hydraulic Actuators for Mechatronic Systems

A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825). This special issue belongs to the section "High Torque/Power Density Actuators".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 3098

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Sciences and Methods for Engineering, Via Amendola 2, Pad. Morselli, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
Interests: numerical modeling and experimental testing of hydraulic components and systems; volumetric pumps; control valves; electro-hydraulic actuated automotive transmissions

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Guest Editor
Department of Sciences and Methods for Engineering, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Amendola 2, Pad. Morselli, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
Interests: energy conversion systems; fluid power components; CFD numerical simulations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The topic of this Special Issue concerns the latest developments and advances in the field of electro-hydraulic actuators for mechatronic systems, with a particular focus devoted to design solutions developed with the aim of increasing their performance, mainly in terms of energy efficiency, mechanical strength, duration and production costs.

As is well known, an electro-hydraulic actuator is a modular combination of a high-performance hydraulic actuator, a power unit consisting of a hydraulic pump driven by an electric motor, a dedicated electronic or electro-mechanical system, used to control and manage all the actuator functions, and some other additional but fundamental components, including hydraulic tanks, control valves, accumulators, filters, manifolds, pipes and fittings. Electro-hydraulic actuators usually combine simplicity and lower purchase costs, due to the presence of the electric power supply, with the high operating speeds and mechanical failsafe of fluid powered actuators. They typically offer the benefits of energy accumulation for emergency operation (as an alternative to spring return), high-torque and high-speed capabilities, easy operating time adjustment and high flexibility of control systems. Other fundamental features include the use of AC or DC electric power and, thus, no polluting emissions to the atmosphere, smart control, diagnostics and wireless communication, and compliance with all the worldwide standards and legislations.

During the last three decades, the requirements commonly applied for designing electro-hydraulic actuators for mechatronic systems have been focused on a continuous increase of their overall efficiency, mainly in terms of actuation times, power losses, and weight and volume reductions. Moreover, a considerable growth of the incoming and outgoing flow rates and of the supply pressure targets has been constantly registered.

Following this trend, innovative, miniaturized and more efficient components and subsystems, with advanced features, additional functions and complex control strategies, have been developed and applied in order to comply with the increased power density and stringent safety regulations. Furthermore, the achievement of a combined reduction of vibrations and emitted noise is another fundamental challenge for the present design engineers.

The research activities concerning the design and optimization of electro-hydraulic actuators for mechatronic systems are characterized by a highly multi-disciplinary approach, including mechanical engineering, materials science, fluid power applications and theoretical, computational and experimental fluid dynamics. If all these activities are successfully completed, potential benefits in terms of improved performance, affordability, fuel consumption reduction and environmental compliance can be easily reached and maintained.

Moreover, in recent years, innovative manufacturing processes, techniques and materials have been studied, set up and applied with the aim of developing components, subsystems and micro-electro-mechanical systems that are simultaneously lighter and more resistant. In this field, additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping certainly represent two examples of key technologies for this purpose. Another very interesting and promising topic is the integration of new types of sensors for pressure, temperature, mass flow and speed measurements, which can be very useful for the diagnosis, control and monitoring of their operating conditions and performance parameters.

We invite investigators to contribute their original research and review articles dealing with innovative design solutions and advances in electro-hydraulic actuators, developed and applied for standard mechatronic systems or leading to new horizons and fields of application.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • New design solutions useful for increasing the efficiency of the electro-hydraulic actuators;
  • Study of the dynamic interaction between the actuator and connected mechatronic systems;
  • Adoption of new materials and manufacturing technologies;
  • New and innovative applications, broadening their use in different technical fields;
  • Development and validation of lumped and distributed numerical models;
  • Modeling and optimization;
  • Innovative setups and sensors for experimental characterization;
  • Condition monitoring and predictive maintenance

Dr. Fabrizio Paltrinieri
Dr. Matteo Venturelli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Actuators is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 10240 KiB  
Article
Research on Multi-Mode Control of Electro-Hydraulic Variable Displacement Pump Driven by Servo Motor
by Zhiqiang Zhang, Yupeng Yan, Lin Li, Qun Chao, Kunshan Jin and Zhiqi Liu
Actuators 2024, 13(5), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/act13050190 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 469
Abstract
The electro-hydraulic power source with an electro-hydraulic variable pump driven by a servo motor is suitable for electrified construction machinery. To achieve better energy efficiency in different working conditions, the multi-mode control scheme was proposed for the electro-hydraulic power source. The control scheme [...] Read more.
The electro-hydraulic power source with an electro-hydraulic variable pump driven by a servo motor is suitable for electrified construction machinery. To achieve better energy efficiency in different working conditions, the multi-mode control scheme was proposed for the electro-hydraulic power source. The control scheme includes pressure control, flow control, and torque control modes. The switching rule among the three control modes was formulated based on the minimum pump pressure. The fuzzy PID controller was designed, and a composite flow regulation strategy was formulated, including the load-sensitive adaptive displacement regulation and servo motor variable speed regulation. The AMESim-Simulink co-simulation model of multi-mode control was established. The test platform was built, and the experimental study was carried out. The results indicate that the fuzzy PID control has a shorter response time and a more stable control effect compared with PID control. Additionally, the composite flow regulation strategy improves the flow regulation range by 36% and reduces the flow overshoot by 20% compared with the load-sensitive adaptive displacement regulation. As the main control valve received an opening step signal, the full flow regulation (7~81 L/min) of the power source took approximately 0.5 s to rise and 0.2 s to fall. The relative error of pressure difference for the main control valve was 0.63%. When receiving the pressure and torque step signal, the pump pressure and pump input torque both took approximately 0.45 s to rise and 0.2 s to fall. The relative errors of pump pressure and torque control were 0.2% and 0.16%, respectively. In the multi-mode control, the electro-hydraulic power source could switch smoothly between flow control mode, pressure control mode, and torque control mode. These results provide a reference for the multi-mode control of an electro-hydraulic power source with an electro-hydraulic variable pump driven by a servo motor. Full article
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26 pages, 5570 KiB  
Article
Configuration of the Power Reflux Hydro-Mechanical Transmission System
by Jiezhong Wang, Dongye Sun, Jianhua Wang and Guangliang Liao
Actuators 2024, 13(4), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/act13040120 - 23 Mar 2024
Viewed by 874
Abstract
The hydro-mechanical transmission system (HMTS) operates either in power split transmission mode (PSTM) or power reflux transmission mode (PRTM). Although PRTM is often ignored as a transition mode, this study reveals that the HMTS operating in the PRTM can accumulate the power input [...] Read more.
The hydro-mechanical transmission system (HMTS) operates either in power split transmission mode (PSTM) or power reflux transmission mode (PRTM). Although PRTM is often ignored as a transition mode, this study reveals that the HMTS operating in the PRTM can accumulate the power input from the power source in the form of reflux power (in some references, scholars also refer to the reflux power as circulating power), thereby enabling the HMTS to exhibit a similar transmission performance as hydrodynamic transmission systems. Accordingly, this study applies the PRTM to the starting of construction vehicles and refers to the HMTS operating only in the PRTM as the power reflux hydro-mechanical transmission system (PHTS). By analyzing the internal relationship between the configuration and the power flow, transmission characteristics, energy storage mechanism, and energy loss mechanism of the PHTS, the optimal PHTS configuration suitable for construction vehicles was explored. The results indicate that reasonable configurations can enable the PHTS to significantly improve the efficiency of the construction vehicle transmission system, reducing energy consumption while ensuring power performance. Expanding the displacement ratio control range of the hydraulic speed regulation mechanism and combining the PRTM with the PSTM in an orderly manner can widen the high-efficiency range of the vehicle transmission system without increasing the number of vehicle gears. Full article
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21 pages, 8541 KiB  
Article
Parameter Optimization of Vibration Reduction Structure for Low-Speed, Multi-Acting Cam Ring Motor
by Gaocheng An, Wenkang Wang, Hongquan Dong, Baoyu Liu, Wei Song and Zhenhua Hu
Actuators 2023, 12(10), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/act12100388 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1238
Abstract
To address the issue of serious torque pulsation and optimize the output characteristics of multi-acting cam ring motors at low speed, a sensitivity analysis was conducted on the parameters of the triangular groove at the valve plate. Firstly, a mathematical model of the [...] Read more.
To address the issue of serious torque pulsation and optimize the output characteristics of multi-acting cam ring motors at low speed, a sensitivity analysis was conducted on the parameters of the triangular groove at the valve plate. Firstly, a mathematical model of the flow area between the rotor hole and the valve plate hole was established. Then, a numerical simulation model was built to study the motor output characteristics. Finally, the coupling effect of the triangular groove parameters on the motor torque pulsation rate was analyzed based on the response surface methodology. The results show that the motor torque pulsation rate can be reduced by 55% when adjusting depth angle θ1, width angle θ2, and length l. The influence order of design parameters on the pulsation rate is θ1>l>θ2; among all parameter combinations, the coupling of the triangular groove between the depth angle and the length has the most significant effect on the pulsation rate. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Dynamic Modeling of the Small Water-based Swash-Plate Pump Electro-Hydraulic Actuator (EHA) System
Authors: Ha-Gwon Song1, Dong-Won Lim
Affiliation: Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Suwon
Abstract: This study focuses on the development and analysis of a compact water pressure Electro-Hydraulic Actuator (EHA) for small-scale applications. By utilizing water as the working fluid, the proposed EHA overcomes the limitations of conventional centralized hydraulic systems and maintains the environmental benefits of EHA technology. However, the larger size of existing water pressure EHA devices poses challenges for application in small devices. Thus, it is designed a compact bidirectional vane axial piston hydraulic pump specifically for small water pressure EHA systems. The dynamics and control characteristics of the compact EHA were studied through modeling, analysis and experimental validation. The developed compact water pressure EHA circuit, controller, and control program laid the foundation for the production of commercial devices. The dynamic characteristics of the compact water pressure EHA were analyzed based on a mathematical model that considered the properties of water. The results showed that the response speed decreased by approximately half when the load increased from 1 kg to 5 kg. Additionally, the steady-state speed decreased by approximately 35% for the same load. These findings indicated that pressure cannot be considered an independent variable, as the dynamic characteristics are influenced by the load function. Furthermore, the compact water pressure EHA demonstrated a 3.25-fold gain in overall output compared to its volume, confirming its ability to generate greater force. Overall, this research contributes to the development of a compact water-based EHA suitable for small-scale applications. The findings provide insights into the system's dynamics and performance characteristics, paving the way for the implementation of eco-friendly EHAs in various industrial sectors.

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