Fluid Power Project Summaries

FPI conducts many research and evaluation projects for industry.

IFPE 2017
Design Study of WB16 Hydraulic System (commercial client) – Study comprised the development of steady state models for a hydraulic used on a concrete construction vehicle. The models were developed and exercised in a systems study that resulted in a reduction in pump and motor, valve and line size while increasing overall system efficiency.

Hydraulic System Model Development (commercial client) – A mathematical model of a multi-valve/actuator system was developed for steady-state operations that allowed overall system efficiency to be optimized based on valve configuration, actuator loading, fluid type and operating temperature.

High-Pressure Pump Design (commercial client) – A high pressure, manually operated pump was developed to control a linear actuator. The pump included a hydro-mechanical controller that shifted the volume output of the pump based on actuator loading up to an operating pressure of 10,000 PSI. The pump has patent potential and is currently under prototype development.

Design Study of Excavator Hydraulic System (commercial client) – A combined modeling and test/evaluation project was undertaken to establish dynamic and steady-state performance of a hydraulic system used for the crowd function on a large-scale mining shovel. The system was composed of electro-hydraulic cartridge valves, multiple pumps (four), and a large bore (14-inch) cylinder. Dynamic valve models were developed using a combination of experimental data and first principles. A novel test method was developed for determining the dynamic response of large-cartridge valves.

Designing Contamination Robust Hydraulic Valves (commercial client) – An engineering design guide was developed to aid engineers in the design of hydraulic valves for contamination- rich environments. The guide provided background information on contamination types and sources, valve performance affected by contamination, design methods to control contamination, filtration design, and resources available in this area for design, production, test and quality- control engineers.

Fluid Bulk Modulus Data Base (commercial client) – A database was generated empirically for fluid bulk modulus as a function of temperature and pressure for eight fluids that included typical hydraulic oils, engine oil, transmission fluid and bio-degradable fluids. The pressure range was 2,000 to 10,000 PSI and the temperature ranged from 0-250ºF.

Design Review of the “Total Care Hydraulic System” (commercial client) – A total hydraulic system including pump, valves, lines, connectors, filters and linear actuators was reviewed. Recommendations were implemented to increase the reliability of the system in terms of increasing the uptime and maintenance of system performance, cost reductions, component design changes and filtration requirements.

Hydrostatic Transmission Endurance Evaluation (commercial client) – Simultaneous tests on four hydrostatic transmissions used on commercial zero-turn turf mowers. Single-test system was computer controlled for adjusting pressures and pump displacements on all four test units simultaneously for 2,000 hours. A 20-second duty cycle simulating actual use was developed. The control system includes data acquisition for measuring and recording eight pressures, four flow rates, and eight temperatures. The system has fail safes to run 24/7.

Accumulator Endurance Evaluation (commercial client) – A unique regenerative test system was designed and built to simultaneously cycle test four bladder type accumulators: two 15-gallon and two 11-gallon. The system was divided into two banks containing one 15- and one 11-gallon accumulator. The pump alternately charged the 15-gallon accumulators. The 15-gallon accumulators discharged into the 11-gallon accumulators. This test system was also computer controlled with data acquisition and fail safes for 24/7 operation.

Military Winch Calibration (military client) – Production qualification testing of the 70-ton line pull main winch used in the Army’’s M88 Hercules Tank Retriever. More than 450 winches have been tested since 1993 when the project started. This project is ongoing.

Hydraulic Pump Endurance Evaluation (commercial client) – A system was designed and built to simultaneously test four pumps that were mounted to a gearbox driven by a 200 horsepower electric motor. Pump outlet pressure was cycled between 150 and 2,000 PSI at 1 Hz. Testing continued until a 5 percent flow loss occurred from their initial value. The system was computer controlled with data acquisition and fail safes for 24/7 operation.

Component Failure Analysis (commercial clients) – Numerous projects were completed over the years involving failure of pumps, valves and cylinders. Typical projects included reviewing the application, examining the failed components to determine the most probable cause or causes of failure, and documenting the findings.

Modeling/Simulation Software Programs

  • MATLAB/SIMULINK a general-purpose simulation program; models for pumps, valves, lines, cylinder, etc. have been developed at MSOE for this program.
  • AUTOMATION STUDIOS a mid-level hydraulic, pneumatic, and electrical simulation program.
  • AMESIM a high level, hydraulic, pneumatic, control, mechanical (including vehicles), and thermal simulation program written specifically for fluid power/motion control applications.
  • SOLIDWORKS – 3D CAD modeling program.
  • FLOWWORKS – Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) program for modeling/analysis of internal and external flows through valves, pumps, hose, pipes, etc.
  • MSC PATRAN – Finite Element analysis program for mechanical design.


Contact FPI for evaluation and research services

Thomas Wanke
FPI Director
Phone: (414) 277-7191
Fax: (414) 277-7470

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