Optimization of orifice position in particle-excitation valve for proportional flow control
© The Author(s) 2017
Received: 25 May 2017
Accepted: 3 October 2017
Published: 11 October 2017
This paper reports an improvement of the particle-excitation flow control valve. The valve that we have designed in previous reports can control air flow, using particle excitation by piezoelectric resonance, and has the following advantages: small size, lightweight, high response and continuous airflow control. However, in our previous models, the relationship between the driving voltage and the flow quantity was nonlinear. In this report, we improved the valve to realize proportional flow control. The valve consists of the orifice plate, that has some orifices, and steel particles to seal the orifices and piezoelectric transducer. It controls air flow by the voltage applied to the transducer. For proportional flow control, it is important to adjust the orifice position adequately. In this report, we optimized the orifice position, considering resonance condition of the valve. We designed the experimental prototype using a bolt-clamped Langevin type transducer and decided orifice position. And we evaluated its vibration properties and flow-rate characteristics. The experimental results showed that our designed prototype can proportionally control airflow.
A pneumatic actuation system has many advantages, including lightweight, safety, and low cost. Because pneumatic actuators have compliance, they are widely researched for human support devices [1–5]. Recently, the actuators are examined as the application of artificial muscles and soft actuators [6–10]. However, it is difficult to control pneumatic equipment since air is compressible and has nonlinear characteristics. Therefore, highly controllable devices are in great demand. Many kinds of pneumatic control devices have been researched [11–28]. Especially, piezoelectric (PZT) actuators are widely used [14–22, 24–28] because some of these actuators have high response and large power. Because the strokes of PZT actuators are very small and must be increased, some researches use laminated PZTs [17–19], bimorph structure , motors [20, 21, 24], or displacement amplifier mechanisms [25–28]. Especially for proportional or servo valves, since the stroke of the actuated part is critical, displacement amplifier mechanisms are used. A valve with displacement amplifier mechanisms is heavy and large. We designed flow control valves using particle excitation mechanism whose advantages are small size and high response [29–32]. This control mechanism uses PZT resonance frequency and does not need the displacement amplifier mechanism. In previous report, we demonstrated its basic structure and confirmed that it has potential to provide a large flow rate . We showed new mechanism of the valve using deferent types of particles for stable flow control . We discussed orifice condition of the valve and designed prototype that can control air flow continuously . And we expanded orifices diameter to increase flow quantity and checked responsiveness of the valve . However, the flow conditions of the prototypes were nonlinear. In this report, we proposed a new model of particle-excitation valve that can realize the proportional flow control. For proportional flow control, we optimized the orifice position considering vibration mode. Firstly, we showed the basic mechanism and then specifically explained its design, how the valve makes the flow condition proportional. Secondly, we designed a prototype optimizing the orifice position. To decide orifice position, we used the approximation of orifice deformation shape. Next we showed the designed prototype’s basic characteristics. Finally, we provided the results of a flow rate change experiment and explained the flow rate characteristics.
Proportional mechanism using particle excitation valve
Basic control mechanism of particle excitation
When using the resonance vibration, the frequency is constant. Therefore, from Eq. (2), F 2 is dependent on A, which has the same orifice plate displacement value when the particle is on orifice. The orifice plate displacement is controlled by changing the voltage applied to the transducer. In previous reports, for continuous flow control, we arranged orifices from the center at 0.2-mm intervals [31, 32]. However, in that mechanism, orifice plate deformation condition was not considered and flow condition was non-linear. In this report, we designed a prototype in which the orifice position is optimized with consideration of the orifice deformation condition for proportional control.
We used 0.8 mm diameter particles of stainless steel (density: 7.93 × 103 kg/m3), and each particle mass was 2.13 mg. When the P parameter is 0.4 MPa and r parameter is 0.2 mm, a parameter is 23.6 km/s2. This value is larger than gravity acceleration and gravity effect is ignored when each particle is on orifice.
Configuration of prototype
Orifice position design for proportional flow condition
When the applied pressure is constant and consequently V min and V max are constant, increase of effective cross sectional area changes in proportion to applied voltage, from first orifice opening to final orifice opening.
From these results, the orifice plate’s condition is determined by the innermost and the outermost orifice positions and the orifice numbers. Even though the V min and V max are changed by supplied air pressure, the condition is kept where the flow rate is proportional to the applied voltage because the change rate of V min and V max are same.
Using Eq. (8), orifice position r n is decided by ω(r n ).
The orifice position is determined by the innermost and the outermost orifice positions and the orifice numbers, and the valve’s sectional area changes in proportion to the applied voltage.
Relationship between orifice number and distance from center of orifice plate
Orifice number n (−)
Distance from center of orifice plate r (mm)
Basic characteristics of the prototype
Flow rate characteristics
We explained how to control proportionally the airflow using a particle-excitation valve. This method required the orifice plate deformation shape and the orifice position. In this paper, we designed the experimental prototype using a bolt-clamped Langevin type transducer that can generate the large vibration acceleration at orifice plate. And we designed the orifice position using approximated orifice plate deformation. Next, we also analyzed prototype’s basic characteristics and decided the driving condition. Finally, the prototype’s flow rate control characteristics were evaluated. This control valve can proportionally control the airflow when the acceleration is proportional to the applied voltage and orifice acceleration exceeds the orifice opening condition. These characteristics were stably generated under changing air pressures: 0.4, 0.5, and 0.6 MPa. Additionally, the prototype shows stable flow characteristics when flow rate decreases. We conclude that this mechanism has potential to create proportional valves with many advantages.
DH carried out the main part of the studies and drafted the manuscript. TY and NF joined discussion and evaluated experimental results. KS and TK participated in design of the prototype and experimental method. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 15K21519.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Availability of data and materials
Consent for publication
Ethics approval and consent to participate
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
- Hong YP, Koo D, Park J, Kim S, Kim KS (2015) The Softgait: a simple and powerful weight-support device for walking and squatting. In: 2015 IEEE/RSJ international conference on intelligent robots and systems, pp 6338–6341Google Scholar
- Hashimoto Y, Nagase J, Saga N, Satoh T (2016) Development and control of support function for upper limb support device. In: 2016 IEEE international conference on industrial technology, pp 1566–1571Google Scholar
- Nomura K, Yonezawa T, Ogitsu T, Mizoguchi H, Takemura H (2015) Development of stewart platform type ankle-foot device for trip prevention support. In: 2015 37th annual international conference of the IEEE engineering in medicine and biology society, pp 4808–4811Google Scholar
- Sanada K, Akiyama Y (2011) Power-assist chair using pneumatic actuator. Int J Autom Technol 5(4):502–507View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yagi E, Harada D, Kobayashi M (2009) Upper-limb power-assist control for agriculture load lifting. Int J Autom Technol 3(6):716–722View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Li X, Noritsugu T, Takaiwa V, Sasaki D (2013) Design of wearable power assist wear for low back support using pneumatic actuators. Int J Autom Technol 7(2):228–236View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ribuan MN, Wakimoto S, Suzumori K, Kanda T (2016) Omnidirectional soft robot platform with flexible actuators for medical assistive device. IJAT 10(4):497–501View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Akagi T, Dohta S, Matsui Y, Tamaki H, Kato N (2016) Low-cost wearable rehabilitation devices using flexible pneumatic cylinder with built-in pneumatic driving system. In: 2016 IEEE international conference on advanced intelligent mechatronics (AIM), pp 89–93Google Scholar
- Loh CT, Tsukagoshi H (2014) Pneumatic big-hand gripper with slip-in tip aimed for the transfer support of the human body. In: 2014 IEEE international conference on robotics & automation, pp 475–481Google Scholar
- Kurumaya S, Suzumori K, Nabae H, Wakimoto S (2016) Musculoskeletal lower-limb robot driven by multifilament muscles. Robomech J 3:18View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ueda H, Akagi T, Dohta S (2010) Development of 2-position 3-port control valve with self-holding function. In: Proceedings of SICE annual conference 2010, pp 1239–1243Google Scholar
- Nasir A, Akagi T, Dohta S, Ono A (2015) Analysis of low-cost wearable servo valve using buckled tubes for optimal arrangement of tubes. In: 2015 IEEE international conference on advanced intelligent mechatronics, pp 831–835Google Scholar
- Li B, Gao L, Yang G (2013) Evaluation and compensation of steady gas flow force on the high-pressure electro-pneumatic servo valve direct-driven by voice coil motor. Energy Convers Manag 67:92–102View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Jien S, Hirai S, Honda K (2010) Miniaturization design of piezoelectric vibration-driven pneumatic unconstrained valves. JRM 22(1):91–99View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Fritz KP, Mayer V, Steffens T, Kück H (2010) Switching valve with isolated impact actuator. In: 12th International conference on new actuators, pp 242–245Google Scholar
- Yun SN, Ham YB, Park JH, So HJ, Lee IY (2008) Pneumatic valve with a pressure regulator for bimorph type PZT actuator. J Electroceramics 20:215–220View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yun SN, Jeong HH, Kim DG, Jeong EA, Kim HH (2011) New strategy for design and fabricating of a grain sorting system using high-speed piezoelectric valves. In: Proceedings of the 8th JFPS international symposium on fluid power, OKINAWA 2011, 1D-1, pp 270–275Google Scholar
- Zeng H, Yuan RB, Sun C, Zhang Z (2012) Study on performance of laminated piezoelectric pneumatic servo valve. Proc Eng 31:1140–1148View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Park JH, Yoshida K, Yokota S (1999) Resonantly driven piezoelectric micropump fabrication of a micropump having high power density. Mechatronics 9:687–702View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Gang B, Tinghai C, Yao H, Xiangdong G, Han G (2011) A nozzle flapper electro-pneumatic proportional pressure valve driven by piezoelectric motor. In: Proceedings of 2011 international conference on fluid power and mechatronics, pp 191–195Google Scholar
- Lingcong N, Xiaoxian Y, Qing L (2008) Modeling and simulation of ultrasonic motor driving jet-pipe servo valve system. In: 2008 Asia simulation conference-7th international conference on system simulation and scientific computing, pp 689–692Google Scholar
- Bang YB, Joo CS, Lee KL, Hur JW, Lim WK (2003) Development of a two-stage high, speed electrohydraulic servo valve system using stack-type piezoelectric-elements. In: Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE/ASME international conference on advanced intelligent mechatronics, pp 131–136Google Scholar
- Karunanidhi S, Singaperumal M (2010) Design, analysis and simulation of magnetostrictive actuator and its application to high dynamic servo valve. Sens Actuators A 157:185–197View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sente P, Vloebergh C, Labrique F, Alexandre P (2008) Control of a direct-drive servo-valve actuated by a linear amplified piezoelectric. In: Proceedings of the 2008 international conference on electrical machines, 1051, pp 1–6Google Scholar
- Zhang D, Lv J, Jiang Y, Chen H, Fu J (2014) A piezoelectric microvalve with a flexure-hinged driving frame and microfabricated silicon sealing pair. Mechatronics 24:511–518View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Jeon J, Nguyen QH, Han YM, Choi SB (2013) Design and evaluation of a direct drive valve actuated by piezostack actuator. Adv Mech Eng 986812:1–12Google Scholar
- Lindler JE, Anderson EH (2002) Piezoelectric direct drive servovalve. In: Industrial and commercial applications of smart structures technologies 2002, 4698-53, pp 1–9Google Scholar
- Zhou M, Gao W, Yang Z, Tian Y (2012) High precise fuzzy control for piezoelectric direct drive electro-hydraulic servo valve. J Adv Mech Des Syst Manuf 6(7):1154–1167View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hirooka D, Suzumori K, Kanda T (2009) Flow control valve for pneumatic actuators using particle excitation by PZT vibrator. Sens Actuators A 155(2):285–289View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hirooka D, Yamaguchi T, Furushiro N, Suzumori K, Kanda T (2016) Development of novel particle excitation flow control valve for stable flow characteristics. Int J Autom Technol 10(4):540–548View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hirooka D, Suzumori K, Kanda T (2011) Design and evaluation of orifice arrangement for particle-excitation flow control valve. Sens Actuators A 171(2):283–291View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hirooka D, Yamaguchi T, Furushiro N, Suzumori K, Kanda T (2017) Particle-excitation flow control valve using piezo vibration-improvement for high flow rate and research on controllability. IEEJ Trans Sens Micromach 137(1):32–37View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kawashima K, Kagawa T, Fujita T (2000) Instantaneous flow rate measurement of ideal gases. J Dyn Syst Meas Control 122:174–178View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Timoshenko S, Krieger SW (1959) Theory of plates and shells, 2nd edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkMATHGoogle Scholar