Fast-switching seat valves suitable for digital hydraulic pumps and motors utilize direct electromagnetic actuators, which must exhibit superior transient performance to allow efficient operation of the fluid power pump/motor. A moving coil actuator resulting in a minimum valve switching time is designed for such valves using transient finite-element analysis of the electromagnetic circuit. The valve dynamics are coupled to the fluid restrictive forces, which significantly influence the effective actuator force. Fluid forces are modeled based on transient computational fluid dynamics models. The electromagnetic finite-element model is verified against experimental measurement, and used to design an optimum moving coil actuator for the application considering different voltage-current ratios of the power supply. Results show that the optimum design depends on the supply voltage-current ratio, however, the minimum switching time obtained is nearly independent on this voltage-current ratio. Selecting a suitable power supply based on thermal considerations yields a switching time just above one millisecond for a travel length of 3.5 mm while submerged in oil. The proposed valve has a pressure drop below 0.5 bar at 600 L/min flow rate, enabling efficient operation of digital hydraulic pumps and motors.
I E E E - a S M E Transactions on Mechatronics, 2015, Vol 20, Issue 6, p. 2761-2770