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You are on page 1of 6

These three tutorials will not be found in any examination syllabus. They have been added to the

web site for engineers seeking knowledge on why valve elements sometimes go unstable and what

can be done to prevent it.

This tutorial show how analogies may be used to derive the spring rate for a fluid column and the

damping characteristics of a dashpot. These are important elements in any hydraulic or pneumatic

system.

The analogous quantities throughout will be as follows.

Pressure (p) - Voltage (V)

Mass flow ( m& ) - Current(I or i)

Mass (m) - Charge (Q)

1. PNEUMATIC SPRING

Any linear pneumatic actuator will have a springiness that should be

consider when analysing the possibility of oscillations due to the

interaction of the mass and the spring.

The following shows the application of tutorial 1 to a pneumatic spring. The diagram shows a

volume of gas trapped in a cylinder by a piston. The gas pressure is 'p'. If the piston is moved a

small distance 'x' the pressure rises as the gas is compressed. For rapid movement the compression

is adiabatic.

p1 (Al 1 ) = p 2 (Al 2 ) p1 (l 1 ) = p 2 (l 2 ) p1 (l1 ) = p 2 (l1 − x )

γ γ γ γ γ γ γ γ

p1V1 = p 2 V2

γ

pl

p2 = 1 1 γ

(l1 − x )

The increase in the force due to the gas pressure is Fp = A(p2 - p1)

⎡ pl γ ⎤ ⎡ l 1γ ⎤

Substitute for p2. Fp = A ⎢ 1 1 γ − p1 ⎥ = Ap1 ⎢ − 1⎥

⎣⎢ (l 1 − x ) ⎣⎢ (l 1 − x )

γ

⎦⎥ ⎦⎥

Differentiate with respect to x.

dFp ⎡⎛ l ⎞ γ ⎛ γ ⎞⎤

= Ap1 ⎢⎜⎜ 1 ⎟⎟ ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟⎥ and this indicates that the spring rate depends on the position of the

dx ⎢⎣⎝ l1 − x ⎠ ⎝ l1 − x ⎠⎥⎦

dFp ⎡⎛ γ ⎞⎤

piston but when x = 0, = Ap1 ⎢⎜⎜ ⎟⎟⎥ Note the units are N/m

dx ⎣⎝ l 1 ⎠⎦

This is the pneumatic spring rate kp at the start of the change but may be applied over a range if

x<<l1.

The expression is particularly useful when analysing vibrations with small amplitudes.

2. HYDRAULIC SPRING

A hydraulic fluid is virtually incompressible and this depends on the bulk modulus K. Only at

exceptionally high pressures does this become an issue (e.g. in some aircraft undercarriage designs

the elasticity of the hydraulic fluid is used to produced a measure of springing). The elasticity of the

pipes is more likely to be a factor in hydraulic circuits.

© D.J.Dunn www.freestudy.co.uk 1

3. PNEUMATIC DASHPOT

Pneumatic dashpots are used on many devices to damp out oscillations. The example shown here

was used in conjunction with a pressure relief valve. It was found that the valve oscillated up and

down at a high frequency when relieving air from some systems. This was due to the resonance of

the connecting pipe and volume interacting with valve. It is interesting to analyse fully why the

valve oscillated but in this section we will examine the damping characteristics of the dashpot. The

purpose of the dashpot was to dampen these oscillations. In the original design there was no

damping orifice and it was thought that the clearance gap between the piston and cylinder would

produce damping. Research showed that the damper simply acted as a pneumatic spring that added

to the steel spring simply determined the resonant frequency. The damping orifice made quite a

difference.

Basically, when the piston moves up, air is pushed out of the chamber and when the piston moves

down, air is sucked into the chamber. The pressure produced by the restriction and inertance always

acts to oppose the motion of the piston and hence dampens the movement.

It is assumed that the changes in pressure are adiabatic. This is an accurate assumption for

frequencies above 1 Hz. The pressure inside the dashpot is p and outside is atmospheric pa. The

pressure inside is equal with the pressure outside when the valve starts to oscillate starting from the

rest position xo. The pneumatic or pressure force acting on the piston is Fp.

Let us examine the case when the oscillations are small in amplitude. This approach is called a

SMALL PERTURBATION ANALYSIS. Consider the simplified diagram.

and temperature T.

The characteristic gas law gives pV = mRT

Differentiate with respect to time.

dp dV dT dm

V +p = mR + RT

dt dt dt dt

dV dx

V = Ap(l - x) hence = −A p

dt dt

γ

γ −1

It is reasonable to assume that the change in pressure is adiabatic so pT = constant

dT γ - 1 ⎛ T ⎞ dp

= ⎜ ⎟

dt γ ⎜⎝ p ⎟⎠ dt

© D.J.Dunn www.freestudy.co.uk 2

p = pa + δp where δp is the increase in pressure relative to the outside. dp = d(δp)

dm δp

The mass flow rate through the orifice is m & = = − where G is the orifice restriction or

dt G

resistance. Combining the equations we have:

dp dV dT dm

V +p = mR + RT

dt dt dt dt

d(δp ) dx γ - 1 ⎛ T ⎞ dp δp

V − App = mR ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ − RT

dt dt γ ⎝ p ⎠ dt G

d(δp ) dx γ - 1 ⎛ T ⎞ dp δp

V − A p p − mR ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ = −RT note mRT = pV

dt dt γ ⎝ p ⎠ dt G

d(δp ) dx γ - 1 dp δp

V − App − V = − RT note dp = d(δp)

dt dt γ dt G

d(δp ) ⎡ (γ - 1) ⎤ dx δp V d(δp ) dx δp

V ⎢1− ⎥ − App = −RT − App = − RT

dt ⎣ γ ⎦ dt G γ dt dt G

V d(δp ) δp dx

+ RT = App It is convenient here to change to Laplace form.

γ dt G dt

V

s(δp ) + RT

(δp ) = A p s(x) ⎡V

δp ⎢ s +

RT ⎤

= A p p s(x)

G ⎥⎦

p

γ G ⎣γ

⎡V RT ⎤ ⎡V RT ⎤

δpA p ⎢ s + ⎥ = A 2p p s(x) note δp Ap = Fp Fp ⎢ s + ⎥ = A 2p p s(x)

⎣γ G ⎦ ⎣γ G ⎦

Fp A 2p p s γ G A 2p p s V

= = Pneumatic capacitance was defined as C =

x V

s+

RT G V s + γ R T γRT

γ G

Fp γ G A 2p p s γ G A 2p p s γ CG A 2p p s

= = = Define a time constant as τ = CG

x GVs+ V ⎛ 1 ⎞ V(CG s + 1)

V⎜ G s + ⎟

C ⎝ C⎠

Fp γ τ A p p s

2

Fp γ τ Ap p s

= Note V = Ap (l - x) =

x V(τ s + 1) x (l − x )(τ s + 1)

From the previous section we know that at the mean position the rate of change of force with

dFp Ap p Fp k pτ s

distance is k p = =γ so if x is small compared with l =

dx l x (τ s + 1)

k τ sx

The pneumatic force is conveniently defined as Fp = p

(τ s + 1)

k p τ jω x

Making the Laplace substitution s becomes jω Fp =

(τ jω + 1)

This shows that at high frequencies Fp = k p x and so behaves as a pneumatic spring with negligible

damping.

At low frequencies Fp = k p τ ω x and so behaves the same as a viscous damper where force is

directly proportional to velocity (v = ω x). In this case we usually define the force as Fp = c v where

c is the viscous damping coefficient and c = kp τ

© D.J.Dunn www.freestudy.co.uk 3

Fp k p τ jω x (τ jω + 1)

= or =

x (τ jω + 1) Fp k p τ jω

If this is turned into a complex number we have

x 1 ⎛ 1 ⎞

= ⎜⎜1 − j ⎟

Fp k p ⎝ τ jω ⎟⎠

x

=

(1 + ω τ )

2 2

hence

Fp

=

k p τω

Fp k p τω x (1 + ω τ )

2 2

⎛ 1 ⎞

The phase angle between Fp and x is φ = tan −1 ⎜ ⎟

⎝ ωτ ⎠

ENERGY DISSIPATION

k p τω k p τω

Fp = x= X sin (ωt + φ )

(

1 + ω2τ 2 )

1 + ω2τ 2 ( )

For a given set of parameters this may be written Fp = KX sin (θ + φ )

and the displacement is x = X sin(θ)

loop and the area within the loop is the work done against the

pressure and hence the energy dissipated by the dashpot.

2π

E = ∫ Fdx = ∫ KXsin(θ + φ ) dx

0

x = X sin(θ) so dx = X cos(θ) dθ

2π

E = KX 2 ∫ sin (θ + φ ) cos(θ )dθ

0

2 2π

KX ⎡

E= ⎢θsin(φ ) −

1

(cos(2θ )cos(φ ) − sin(2θin(2(φ ) )⎤⎥

2 ⎣ 2 ⎦0

1

E = KX 2 [π sin(φ )] From the vector we have sin(φ ) = and putting

(1 + ω τ )2 2

k p τω k pτ π ω X2

K = the energy dissipated for each cycle is E =

(1 +

ω 2τ 2 ) 1 + (τ ω )

2

kpτ

If we equate we can establish an equivalent viscous damping coefficient such that ce =

1 + (ωτ )2

Maximum damping will occur at any given frequency when θ = 45o and ω τ = 1 in which case:-

k τ π k pX2

ce = p and E =

2 2

These are the design parameters for a dashpot to produce maximum damping at a given frequency.

© D.J.Dunn www.freestudy.co.uk 4

CASE STUDY

A pneumatic dashpot similar to that shown in the previous diagram has the following

parameters.

The volume of the air at the mean position is V = 10460 mm3 and the effective length was 25

mm.

The ambient conditions are p = 100 kPa, T = 288 K.

The gas constants for air are γ = 1.4 and R = 287 J/kg K.

The relationship between pressure drop and mass air flow through the orifice was measured and

it was found that at low pressure values the pneumatic resistance was reasonably linear with a

value of 23.8 x 106 N/ m s.

Determine the energy lost to damping and the equivalent damping coefficient when the dashpot

is oscillated at 75 Hz with a peak to peak amplitude of 2.35 mm.

V 10460 x 10 −9

C= = = 90.392 x 10 −12 m s2

γ R T 1.4 x 287 x 288

The time constant is τ = GC = 23.8 x 106 x 90.32 x 1012 = 2.151 x10-3 s

X = 2.35/2 = 1.175 mm l = 25 mm hence A = V/ l = 418.4 x 10-6 m2

F = 75 Hz hence ω = 2πf = 471.239 rad/s

kp = γ p A/ l = 1.4 x 100 x 103 x 418.4 x 10-6 /0.025 = 2343 N/m

φ = tan-1(1/ωτ) = 44.6o

k p τ π ω X2 2343 x 2.151 x 10−3 x π x 471.239 x 0.0252

E= = = 5.081 x 10−3 J

1 + (τ ω)

2

(

1 + 471.239 x 2.151 x 10 )

−3 2

kpτ −3

2343 x 2.151 x 10

ce = = = 2.486 N s/m 2

1 + (ωτ )2

(

1 + 471.239 x 2.151 x 10 )

−3 2

Tests to determine the actual values gave a result quite close to the predicted values.

© D.J.Dunn www.freestudy.co.uk 5

3. HYDRAULIC DASHPOT

A typical hydraulic dashpot is a piston in a cylinder with holes allowing the liquid to move from

one side of the piston to the other. Many variations are possible.

Without derivation, it can be shown that since the force required to shear a Newtonian fluid is

directly proportional to the rate of shear, then the damping force produced by hydraulic dashpot is

directly proportional to the velocity of the piston. F ∝ v. Velocity v is the first derivative of

distance so F ∝ dx/dt

dx

The basic law of a dashpot is: F(t) = c c is the damping coefficient.

dt

Changed into Laplace form. F=csx

x 1

Rearranged into a transfer function H = (s) =

F cs

c is the damping coefficient with units of Force/Velocity or N s/m. The dashpot can be represented

by a simple transfer function as shown.

δF

In terms of rate of spring rate = k = cs

δx

When the piston is reciprocated harmonically with amplitude X the energy dissipated is

π kX 2 π X 2

E= =

2 2c

Instantaneous power dissipated is P = Force x velocity

© D.J.Dunn www.freestudy.co.uk 6

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