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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Mechanical Engineering

PI: Perry Y. Li

Analysis of a Rotary Hydraulic On/Off Valve

These researchers are exploring the complex flow path through a new type of three-way rotary hydraulic on/off valve. This valve apportions flow between two branches of a hydraulic circuit via a continuously rotating valve spool. The rotary motion of the valve spool is achieved by capturing momentum from the fluid that the valve meters. This is attained by designing the geometry of the valve spool to function as a hydraulic turbine. Given the physical constraints on the spool geometry needed to achieve the on/off functionality, flexibility in designing the turbine is limited.

The goal of this project is to simulate the flow through the valve spool to gain a better understanding of how the spool geometry affects the flow through the valve. The researchers will use this simulation to gauge the effectiveness of their current turbine design, and use the results to design future iterations of the valve. The computational fluid dynamics results will be compared with experimental results and used to explain experimental findings that previous lumped parameter, simplified models did not predict.

Group Members

Dave Hafvenstein, Graduate Student
Jonathan Meyer, Graduate Student
Caleb Sancken, Graduate Student
Haink Tu, Graduate Student
Meng Wang, Graduate Student