In this study the feasibility of two mathematical models of the dynamics of a hydraulic bypass valve used on semi-active suspension systems for heavy vehicles is investigated. It is envisaged that similar models will eventually be incorporated into a full vehicle, three dimensional simulation study. The valve system contains an electro-hydraulic pilot valve circuit, a logic element, a damper and four check valves in a rectifier configuration. Models were compiled from first principles in the MATLAB environment and with the commercial fluid power simulation software, AMESim. The numerical methods used in the MATLAB model were found to be incapable of solving the stiff, nonlinear and discontinuous governing equations efficiently, while AMESim is very capable of handling detailed and complex fluid power models. Experimental work was conducted to determine certain steady state model parameters and to obtain dynamic performance data with which to validate model integrity. Several external factors influenced the valve behaviour during experiments making data extraction challenging. Simple first order assumptions accounting for the external influences on the valve therefore had to be included in the models. If this is done the basic dynamic behaviour of the valve system is matched well by the models. In general, the number of unknown parameters associated with fluid power systems accounted for the largest portion of the error between the simulated and measured response. The model as developed proved the possibility of creating highly accurate models but also indicated the amount of effort needed for their compilation.
Dissertation (MEng (Mechanical Engineering))--University of Pretoria, 2007.