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BRUSHLESS DC TORQUE MOTORS QUALITY LEVEL INDEXES FOR SERVO DRIVE

APPLICATIONS
Alexander G. Mikerov, Senior member

Abstract: The paper is devoted to motors static and Yuriy Belenkiy [1 – 3]. All these torque motors have
dynamic qualitative characteristics required to compare slot or slotless stator, distributed 2 or 3 phase winding,
and select brushless DC torque motors of different models multipole rotor with central hole and embedded
and manufacturers for control systems and servo drives. samarium cobalt magnets.
By analyzing of 16 torque motors from 6 manufacturers it
Now a lot of modern brushless torque motors are
is shown that the most informative energetic index is the
static torque quality factor measuring a developing torque
commercially available from different well known
per units of consumer power and the motor mass. Two manufacturers: Inland (Kollmorgen), Axsys, Moog.
dynamic indexes also discussed: mechanical and electrical ETEL, Parker, etc. [4 – 8] To compare and select such
time constants reflecting a torque motor structure. motors some different qualitative characteristics
Selection of one of these indexes as the main factor (indexes) are known [3]. They may be divided by two
depends of a drive application and design (gear or main groups:
gearless). • Static or energy indexes which demonstrate a
motor energy conversion efficiency;
Index Terms: Torque motor, brushless DC motor,
• Dynamic indexes indicating motor speed of
permanent magnet synchronous motor, servo drive, motor
selection. response.
In this paper all these indexes are evaluated with
reference to closed control systems and servo drives.
I. INTRODUCTION As an illustration of different manufacturers brushless
torque motors three dimension groups of such motors
In the field of controlled drives brushless DC motors are considered. These indexes analysis permits to find
(BDCM) or permanent magnet synchronous motors out main trends in modern brushless torque motors
(PMSM) have a lot of benefits against their competitors development.
- frequency controlled induction motors due to smaller
weight, dimensions, better dynamic performance and II. STATIC TORQUE MOTORS INDEXES
more simple electronic part. Such motors have linear
speed vs torque and speed vs control voltage The main value for every torque motor is a starting
characteristics similar to classic brushed DC motors torque TS . In different handbooks one can find a
however they have no brush-commutator assembly and similar values as peak torque, stall torque, continuous
hence are much better for heavy environment and a torque, torque with low speed and so on. The ratio of a
clean room technology. torque to related armature current is called a torque
Torque motors are a sort of common electrical sensitivity or torque constant KT (in Russian literature
motors with two main distinctions: a torque coefficient CM):
• small operating speed,
• absence of a frame, shaft and bearings T
KT = S , (1)
(frameless design). is
Hence torque motors are assumed to be incorporated in
any controlled plant or machine without any gear or where TS - staring torque in any mode and iS –starting
other mechanical transmission (direct drive). It delete current in this mode.
backlashes, resiliencies, kinematics errors and other For any torque motor KT is independent of a
mechanical problems which reduce a drive mechanical selected mode and applied armature voltage however it
resonance frequencies, aggravate the problem of depends of the winding parameters. To compare torque
stability and as a result reduce the control drive motors with different winding parameters and supplied
accuracy and bandwidth. Of course such frameless voltages it is useful to employ a motor constant [9, 10]:
motor may be incorporated in any frame with a shaft
and bearings by a customer and hence such design may TS KT
be employed not only in a direct drive but also in a KM = = , (2)
common gear drive. It extends application field of Ps R
torque motors.
First Russian (Soviet) line DBM of commercial where
brushless and frameless torque motors was launched PS = iS2 R (3)
from 1984 at the Mashinoapparat Company in Moscow.
It was designed under guidance of Mark Minkin and Dr.
is the power consumed by the armature to produce such

978-1-4244-3861-7/09/$25.00 ©2009 IEEE 827


torque, R – armature resistance. Hence it is a torque The coil resistance
developed by the motor for a consumed power unit.
l N
Indexes mentioned above KT and KM may be found in R=ρ w , (8)
handbooks of all torque motor manufacturers and in Aw
some papers [9, 10] the machine constant is
recommended as the main index for a different torque where - wire resistivity; lw , Aw - length and cross
motors comparison. However from our point of view sectional area of an average turn.
this index not fully indicates the technical level of every Let us assume for simplicity that the slot fill factor
torque motor. equal to 1, hence Aw = As / N where As – slot cross
Really the starting torque of a synchronous motor sectional area and
with permanent magnets under magnetic fields
harmonic distribution is equal [11]:
lw N 2
R=ρ (9)
TS = Fs Φ r sin θm , (4) As

where Fs - stator magnetomotive force (MMF), r - Assume also that the rotor magnetic flux is
rotor magnetic flux, m - magnetic angle between stator proportional to the motor rotor and stator pack length l
and rotor fluxes. (Fig.1):
Let us assume that the motor electronic system with
a rotor position sensor provides the magnetic angle l
Φ r = Φ r0 (10)
Θ m = π / 2 . Then l0

TS = Fs Φ r = iS NΦ r = K T iS , (5) Here r0 , l0 – magnetic flux and rotor pack length of


any base motor with the same diameter.
Then (7) may be represented as following:
where N – number of the winding turns with the starting
current iS.
Hence 2l
K M = k0 l, (11)
lw
KT = NΦ r (6) where the constant of proportionality

In accordance with (6) equation (2) may be rewritten as Φ r0 As


k0 = (12)
N l0 2ρ
KM = Φr (7)
R
Table 1 and Fig.2 illustrates this finding by a series of
RBE0151X Inland torque motors with the same
Let us consider a simple phase winding for two- outside diameter 60.3 mm and different rotor length.
Here a KS, index will be discussed bellow
1
Table 1
2 RBE0151X torque motor series static indexes

RBE Rotor Mass, KM, KS,


Do 3
model length, mm kg Nm/ W Nm/kg W

01510 5.7 0.18 0.045 0.25

01511 12.7 0.30 0.082 0.27


h
01512 19.0 0.40 0.105 0.26

Fig. 1 – Torque motor phase winding. 01513 25.4 0,51 0.128 0.25
1 – stator, 2 – rotor, 3 - winding
phase torque motor as any coil in a slot as it is shown in 01514 33.0 0.64 0.156 0.24
Fig.1, where D0 – outside diameter, l – rotor (and stator) 01515 38.1 0.73 0.170 0.23
pack length. 01516 50.8 0.95 0.202 0.21

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One can see that the motor constant KM value is mass. construction details (including in the total motor mass)
This dependence is not a straight line because according explains some static torque quality factor increasing
to (11) the ratio 2l / lw tends to 1 with the with the mass mentioned above. Really for a big motor
construction details share as a rule is less then for a
small motor.
However really it is very difficult to find such
KM KS information concerning motor active materials in any
manufacturer datasheets. Nevertheless it is necessary
KM
0.2 to be careful in using any manufacturer information
about static torque quality factor.
0.3
0.15 III. TORQUE MOTORS DYNAMIC INDEXES

KS Main motor dynamic indexes are:


0.2
0.1 • mechanical time constant m,
• electrical time constant e.
0.1 For any electrical motor with linear speed versus
0.05 torque characteristic mechanical time constant may be
determined as

J rR J Ω
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 m, kg τm = = r NL (14)
KT K E TS
Fig. 2 – RBE0151X torque motor series
static indexes
Here Jr – rotor moment of inertia, KE – back EMF
constant or voltage constant, NL – no-load speed.
motor length increasing and hence the motor constant
For a motor without any load mechanical time constant
will be proportionate to l . Therefore a torque motor is a time of the motor speedup from zero to 63% of the
with higher dimensions and weight has a higher value of no-load speed. For servodrives and speed controlled
the motor constant due to more space for winding and drives the less mechanical time constant is the more
rotor permanent magnets. drive accuracy and bandwidth may be obtained.
To take into account a motor weight in the paper When a motor is connected with any load its
[12] a different index was proposed and called a static mechanical time constant is increasing in accordance
torque quality factor with the next ratio

TS KT J + JL
KS = = , (13) τm .L = τm r , (15)
m Ps m R Jr

where m - full torque motor mass including stator and where JL – the load moment of inertia reduced to the
rotor. motor shaft.
These factor values for the same Inland motors are Hence this dynamic index is more important for a
shown in the Table 1. One can see that when the motor gear drive because for a direct drive this time const in
constant is increasing approximately 4.5 fold the static accordance with (15) may be hundred times more then
torque quality factor changes only +/ 14%. Therefore the motor mechanical time constant due to a great load
it may be used as a static torque motor index reflecting a moment of inertia connected to the motor shaft.
torque motor technical level. Electrical time constant is the armature winding
However it will be shown later that even within the time constant. It is equal to
bounds of any torque motor line the static torque quality
factor slightly increases with a mass. Hence to evaluate τe = L / R , (16)
a technical level it is better to compare torque motors of
similar size and weight. where L – is armature (terminal) inductance.
It was mentioned that in (13) total motor stator and During a motor start-up the electrical time constant
rotor mass should be taking into consideration. determines the time of the armature current increasing
However sometimes this index may be calculated only from zero to 63% of a starting current value.
for active materials such as stator iron core and winding It should be mentioned that for any electrical motor
plus rotor iron core and magnets. In this case different with fixed dimensions its winding electrical time
fastenings and auxiliary details are excluded from the constant doesn’t depend of the winding parameters
consideration. It is obvious that such way better reflects such as a number of turns and a wire gage. Really let us
a motor designer skill. May be just fastenings and other consider any phase winding as any simple coil shown

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in Fig.1. For it the inductance is: P* = T * Ω * (21)

L = N 2 / Rm , (17) Motor speed and power versus torque curves are


shown in Fig. 3 for two cases: curves 1 for a negligibly
where Rm- motor reluctance. small electrical time constant and curves 2 for a
Hence substituting (17) and (9) into (16) one can sufficient electrical time constant.
obtain:
Vc
τe = , (18)
ρRmlw2 * P*
1.0 0.25
0.25
where Vc - winding copper volume. 1
The last equation demonstrates that for a constant
reluctance and middle turn length only the winding 0.8
copper volume defines the electrical time constant. This
0.15
finding may be easily checked for example by the RBE 0.6
motors line where every motor has three winding
versions A, B and  (Table 2) [4].
0.4
Table 2
Electrical time constants for RBE02110 motor 2
0.05
0.2
Winding A B C
Resistance, Ohm 1.27 8.05 0.48
Inductance, mH 1,70 10,0 0.60
Electrical time constant, ms 1,34 1,24 1,25 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 T*

Electrical time constant belongs to the so-called Fig. 3 – Speed and power versus torque
small drive time constant  that determine the drive
bandwidth. For a cascade servodrive control with
One can see that for zero electrical time constant
module optimum the next rule is used [13]:
speed versus torque curve is linear and its maximum
shaft power Pmax * = 0.25 (for T*= 0.5) is more then for
ωcut = 1 /( 2τμ ) . (19)
the case 2 of sufficient electrical time constant.
The maximum shaft power deficit may be
Here ωcut is the drive cut-off frequency. calculated for *= 0.5 as following.
Hence a small motor electrical time constant permits For τe 〉 0 :
to design the drive with the broader bandwidth and
0. 5 0.25
hence the higher accuracy. In practice cut-of frequency T* = , P* = (22)
of many electromechanical servodrives doesn’t exceed 1 + 0.25ϕe
2
1 + 0.25ϕe2
10 Hz. Hence from (19) for such drives torque motors
should have electrical time constant less then 8 ms. Hence the maximum shaft power deficit
Really majority of commercially available torque
motors meet this requirement (see, for example, tables 3
0 ) − Pmax
* *
– 5 bellow). Pmax( 0.25ϕe2
δPmax
*
= = , (23)
The second important point that should be *
Pmax( 0) 1 + 0.25ϕe2
considered during torque motors assessment is
electrical time constant impact on speed versus torque * ( 0 ) = 0.25 - maximum power for  = 0.
where Pmax e
curves. For a brushless DC motor such curve per units is
determined as following [14] This function (23) is shown in Fig. 4. One can see
that for
e= e 1 the deficit of maximum shaft power
is less then 20%. Hence the electrical time constant
1 − Ω*
T =
*
, (20) impact on a torque motor shaft power is important only
1 + (ϕe Ω* ) 2 for high-speed motors.
Generally speaking an electrical time constant
increasing can reduce a torque motor maximum shaft
where T * = T / TS and Ω* = Ω / Ω NL - per unit motor power and decrease the speed versus torque curve
torque and speed, ϕe = ωτe , ω = pΩ - angular speed, p linearity. However really it is noticeably for high-speed
- number of the motor poles pair. motors.
Output motor shaft power per units Besides it should be mentioned that speed versus
torque curve non-linearity can influence a closed loop

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control system behavior and aggravate the problem of More simple way used in small electrical machines and
stability due to variability of motor mechanical time drives is static correction circuitry or program shown
constant. For a servodrive with a position feedback such in Fig. 5 [18]. Here a permanent magnet synchronous
effect may be negligible small because here the motor incorporates a motor position sensor (encoder),
power amplifier and a coordinate transformer. The
motor is controlled in d, q axes by applying a control
P*max
(input) voltage uq and correction voltage ud . The last
1.0 voltage is formed by a static correction unit from
control and rotor position signals. Static correction
algorithm represented for example in [11, 16 - 18] may
0.8
be introduced in a microcontroller. It provides current
vector direct axis component id = 0 under all motor
0.6 speed and hence a linear speed versus torque curve.
A high mechanical time constant also may be
0.4 compensated by a speed feedback employed in the
cascade servodrive control mentioned above. But such
feedback powerless to increase a low motor starting
0.2 acceleration caused by the high mechanical time
constant.
Therefore from our point of view choosing a
0 1 2 3 e,, rad mechanical or electrical time constant as a torque
motor major dynamic index depends of the motor
Fig. 4 – Shaft power deficit for e > 0 application and speed. Concerning static torque motors
indexes the most informative seems to be the static
mechanical time const is determined in the starting torque quality factor.
torque region where the speed versus torque curve is
close to linear (see Fig. 3). Of course it is interesting to IV. MODERN TORQUE MOTORS
explore this influence more detailed however it is also COMPARATIVE PARAMETERS
noticeable only for high-speed motors, which are not
typical for torque motors. Comparative parameters of three groups of modern
Besides now different methods are proposed to torque motors are shown in tables 3 – 5 [2, 4 - 8]. All
compensate an electrical time constant impact on speed motors are united according to three overall
versus torque curves. The well-known method is a dimensions as following:
motor current feedback employed in a cascade • Small motors with outside diameter 38 – 60
servodrive control [13]. Motor phase currents feedback mm and weight 0.16 – 0.31 kg (Table 3);
also incorporates in the AC motors vector control [15]. • Medium motors with outside diameter 95 -

Supply
Microcontroller
Synchronous motor
Input u1
uq
u2 N
Coordinate Power
ud transformer Amplifier S
u3

Static
Correction

Position
Encoder

Fig. 5 – PMSM with the static correction

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115 mm and weight 0.48 – 1.55 kg (Table such motors more thick wire is used and hence an
4); insulation share is also less.
• Large motors with outside diameter 152 -254 As a whole for all modern torque motors under
mm and weight 7 – 9.4 kg (Table 5). consideration the machine constant increases more
then 80 times while the static torque quality factor
Number of phases is not shown in Tables because varies only 15% reflecting any average technical level.
torque motor static and dynamic indexes don’t depend It is obvious that the static torque quality factor
of this number. analysis is an important tool for any torque motor line
The first column includes DBM motors mentioned assessment.
above which demonstrate the 80th years of the last Some valuable information about different
century technical level. All tables show that modern manufacturer ways to achieve a high static torque
torque motors exceed DBM motors in static torque quality factor may be obtained from a dynamic indexes
quality factor 1.7 – 2.5 times as much. (time constants) analysis. For example relative small
Inside every group of modern motors the static electrical time constant and high mechanical time
torque quality factor is changing very few with regard to constant may testify in favor of high relative magnet
an average value: 12% for small motors, 3% for volume caused the rotor flux increasing. In contrast
medium motors and 10% for large ones while the relatively small mechanical time constant and high
machine constant is changing 1.5 – 3 times. electrical time constant may demonstrate that in such
Tables 3-5 demonstrate as a rule some static torque motors the stator flux was increased by a high stator
quality factor increasing with the mass. As it was copper volume.
mentioned above for a big motor construction details
share as a rule is less then for a small motor. Besides in

Table 3. Small torque motors


Manufacturer Mashino-apparat Inland, Axsys Moog Parker
(Russia) (USA) (USA) (USA) (USA)
Model DBM50-0.04-6-2 RBE01211-A 2375J-055-04 DB1500-G4 K044150-FY
6
Outside diameter, mm 50 49 60 38 44
Inside diameter, mm 12.0 9.6 23.9 12.7 14
Mass, kg 0.18 0.20 0.16 0.20 0.31
Peak torque. N*m 0.17 0.81 0.43 0.39 1.51
Torque sensitivity, N*m/A 0.038 0.041 0.071 0.084 0.28
Motor constant, N*m/W0.5 0.016 0.050 0.032 0.044 0.080
Static torque quality
factor,N*m/(kg*W0.5) 0.086 0.250 0.202 0.222 0.257
Mechanical time constant, 25.0 3.3 10.0 17.7 0.7
ms
Electrical time constant, 0.3 0.5 0.4 0.2 1.05
ms
Number of poles, 2p 8 8 8 8 6

Table 4. Medium torque motors


Manufacturer Mashinoapparat Inland, Axsys Moog Parker
(Russia) (USA) (USA) (USA) (USA)
Model DBM100-0.4-0.75- RBE02111-A 3730H-071-12 DB4530-A K375-150-GY
2 5
Outside diameter, mm 100 95 95 115 95
Inside diameter, mm 48.0 16.0 44.0 25.4 38.1
Mass, kg 0.70 1.0 0.55 0.48 1.55
Peak torque. N*m 0.88 4.57 1.33 1.37 12.6
Torque sensitivity, 0.30 0.305 0.47 1.78 0.41
N*m/A
Motor constant, 0.099 0.237 0.135 0.114 0.357
N*m/W0.5

832
Static torque quality
factor,N*m/(kg*W0.5) 0.141 0.237 0.236 0.238 0.232
Mechanical time 24.0 2.4 4.9 4.2 0.7
constant, ms
Electrical time 0.6 1.9 0.4 0.4 2.7
constant, ms
Number of poles, 2p 8 12 14 20 12

Table 5. Large torque motors


Manufacturer Mashino- Inland Axsys Moog Parker ETEL
apparat (USA) (USA) (USA) (USA) (Switzer-
(Russia) land)
Model DBM185-1 RBE 6000S-440- DB9000B- K254-150- TMM0175-
6-0.15-2 04512-A 0.10 3Y 5Y 070-3TAN

Outside diameter, mm 185 180 152 229 254 175

Inside diameter, mm 66 82.6 102 92 140.5 90

Mass, kg 9.25 6.80 6.69 8.5 9.1 9.4

Peak torque. N*m 29.2 98.3 41.2 51.2 75.0 158

Torque sensitivity,
N*m/A 1.6 1.14 1.65 3.03 1.42 8.35

Motor constant,
N*m/W 1.32 1.93 1.65 2.49 2.60 2.52

Static torque quality


factor, N*m/(kgW) 0.143 0.280 0.239 0.293 0.286 0.268

Mechanical time
constant, ms 9.0 1.3 2.0 1.2 2.0 0.7

Electrical time
constant, ms 3.0 6.3 1.5 2.5 12.5 7.1

Number of poles, 2p 16 12 16 32 18 22

Likely that such motors are torque motors from Parker Axsys motors versus distributed winding in DBM and
and ETEL companies. Inland motors.
For the group of large motors (Table 5) electrical 4. Increasing of a copper specific volume. However it
time constants Inland, Parker and ETEL motors are increases electrical time constants as in Parker and
close to the limit mentioned above in accordance with ETEL torque motors.
condition (19) – 8 ms.
As a whole torque motors design analysis shows V. CONCLUSION
that high-energy indexes may be obtained by different
ways as following: Brushless DC torque motors performance data
1. Employment of high power magnets such as comparison provides following resume:
NdFeB in ETEL motors. 1. For a selection of torque motors two groups
2. Rotor with surface magnets. Embedded magnets of quality characteristics (indexes) may be employed:
construction has only DBM motors. All other torque static (energy) and dynamic indexes. Last ones are
motors in Tables 3-5 contain surface magnets rotors. extremely important for servodrives.
As a rule it provides a greater rotor hole. 2. From our point of view the best static index is
3. Concentrated (coil) winding as for example in the static torque quality factor measuring a developing

833
torque per units of consumed power and motor mass. [6]. Brushless torque & torroidal motors.
3. Well-known index the motor constant brushlesstorquemo.pdf. Moog Components group.
strongly depends of the motor dimensions and mass (On-line). Available: www.moog.com/components
[7]. Frameless motors series. Motors_kit 4 cl.pdf. Parker
and hence can’t serves as any universal characteristic.
Bayside. (On-line). Available:
For example 13 modern torque motors from 5 different www.baysidemotion.com.
manufactures considered in the paper with outside [8]. TMM torque motors. ETEL motion technologies.
diameter 38 – 254 mm and mass 0.16 – 9.4 kg (On-line). Available: www.etel.ch/Torque_Motors
demonstrate the machine constant variety range more [9]. Beauchemin G.A. Motion Control - A shortcut to sizing
then 80 times while the static torque quality factor motors. Machine design. Penton media Inc. 7.10.2003
changes only 15%. (On-line). Available:
4. Modern torque motors have the static torque http://machinedesign.com.
quality factor about 0.2 – 0.3 N*m/(kgW) that exceed [10]. Holzknecht A. Direct drive torque motors for machine
tool application (On-line). Available:
80th years torque motors technical level 2-3 times
www.etel.ch/documents/showFile.asp?ID=1000
more. [11]. Mikerov A.G. Controlled brushless DC motors
5. Main dynamic indexes are mechanical and (textbook). St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University.
electrical time constants varying for modern torque 1997, p. 64.
motors in the range 0.7 – 18 ms for mechanical time [12]. Demagin A.V. Electrical machines for instrumentation
constant and 0.2 – 12 for electrical one. systems direct drive. Azimuth Company. 1991, p. 81.
6. Accentuation to the most important index [13]. Leonhard W. Control of electrical drives, v.1.Second
depends of a servo drive application and design. For a edition. Springer-Verlag. 1996, p. 154.
gear drive the focus may be done on the mechanical [14]. Khrushev V.V. Electrical machines for control
systems. Energoatomizdat. Leningrad, 1985, p. 368.
time constant while for a gearless (direct) drive more
[15]. Novotny D.W., Lipo T.A. Vector control and dynamics
important may be the electrical time constant that of AC drives. Clarendon Press. Oxford, 1996, p. 440
define the servo drive bandwidth. For example to [16]. Mikerov A.G., Mustafa M.N. and Djankhotov V.V.
achieve a cut-of frequency more then 10 Hz the motor The improvement of permanent magnet synchronous
electrical time constant should be less then 8 ms. motor static and dynamic characteristics by introducing
7. Dynamic indexes analysis may be very useful the static correction algorithm. Proceedings of St.
for revealing of any torque motor design peculiarities. Petersburg IEEE chapters. 2001. SPb ETU “LETI”. St.
Really, relatively high mechanical time constant may Petersburg, Russia. 2001, pp. 45 - 50.
testify of high permanent magnets volume while a high [17] Mikerov A.G., Djankhotov V.V. Small electrical
machines and drives (textbook).: St.-Petersburg State
winding copper volume may cause relatively high
Electrotechnical University, St.-Petersburg, 2002, p. 68
electrical time constant. [18] Mikerov A.G., Djankhotov V.V. Developing in
walking robot servodrives with PMSM. Proceedings of
VI. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT the International symposium on industrial electronics
ISIE2006, July 9-13, 2006, Montreal, Canada, p. 2128
Author is very grateful to St. Petersburg –2133.
“ELMA-Ko” Company and especially to its Director
and Chief Designer Ludmila Epifanova for initiating
and support of torque motors investigation discussed Alexander G. Mikerov (M’96, SM'04) received the Ph.D.
in the paper. degree in automatic control from the St.-Petersburg
Scientific Research Institute “MARS” in 1972 and Doctor of
Tech. Sc. degree in electrical equipment from the
REFERENCES
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1992. From 1964 till 1995 he was with Leninets Holding
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Kulikov S.N., Minkin M.M and Mikerov A.G.
to the Heading Researcher at the Department of Drives, was
Brushless torque drive for closed loop control systems.
responsible for research and design of servo drives with
Electrical Engineering (USSR), 1986, #2, pp. 12-14.
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