Patrik Isaksson (LTU)

Simulation of tribology in hydraulic motors

Tribology is the science of friction, lubrication and wear. A tribological interface is composed of two contacting surfaces in relative motion. The radial piston hydraulic motor includes a lot of tribological interfaces. The interfaces are made up of the contacts between the moving parts in the motor that transform energy in the form of hydraulic flow into motion of the output shaft. Many of them are highly loaded due to the large forces that must be transmitted to produce the required torque. The performance in view of efficiency of the hydraulic motor depends strongly on the tribological properties in these interfaces. In industry today, there is a general strive towards better efficiency to minimize impact on the environment by lowering energy consumption. This puts a lot of focus on tribology, especially in applications like the hydraulic motor whose purpose is to convert energy into some desired motion. Indeed, minimizing the losses/friction in the tribological interfaces leads to less energy needed to produce the desired motion. Another aspect of tribology is wear in the interfaces which can affect durability or toughness of the motor. At present, design and optimization of tribological interfaces is mostly done by trial and error experimental work and testing. This will always be needed but if more of the testing can be done using computer based computational models a more cost effective and faster design process could be achieved. A computational model would also lead to better understanding of tribological processes present in the simulated application due to the possibility to investigate properties that are very hard to measure. The work in this thesis involves development of computer based computational models for simulation of the tribology in hydraulic motors. The model is validated through comparison with experiments. Furthermore it is shown that modelling can be used to analyze tribology in the hydraulic motor and consequently can be used as a design tool for improving efficiency.

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