In industries ranging from manufacturing to off-highway, the efficient management of engineering resources is more important than ever as businesses face the acceleration of customer demand for high output at peak performance and reliability. Engineering teams are continually seeking ways to improve existing technologies and hydraulic systems without diminishing the integrity of their designs. The application of high-fidelity simulations is one way that system design engineers are using technology to produce greater results.
In the production of mobile hydraulic systems, for example, manufacturers aim for reliable, efficient and cost-effective solutions. The predictive capabilities of state-of-the-art computational tools that provide real-world accuracy enable engineers to better understand the coherent phenomena and make rational decisions when developing systems. These physics-based simulation technologies promote collaborative product development practices between CAD, PDM and supplier management systems, and hence realize the innovation in response to engineering requirements.
To learn how computer simulations can be used as design instruments, read a case study detailing the fluid and structural mechanics of hydraulic tanks presented in our white paper “Design Innovation Through High-Fidelity Simulations”.
Determining a better structural design of hydraulic systems is a never-ending problem. A wise practice is to explore all possible dimensions of physics to achieve the best solution. The design of hydraulic tanks offers an interesting example of the effectiveness of virtual engineering. Here, the predictive capabilities of state-of-the-art computer simulations can be used to examine models of the effects of a variety of conditions, including:
Hydraulic tanks tend to receive foreign matter of different physical and chemical properties from the return line flow. Although the solid contamination can be separated from the oil stream using a return line filter, air bubbles can pass through the filter and enter the tank. As a result, there can be sudden pressure fluctuations that can lead to cavitation and variable thermal loads.
The return line fluid temperature defines the system operating conditions and is imparted to the tank’s internal structure while the external surface of the tank is exposed to ambient conditions. This can create considerable temperature gradients in the tank’s structure.
The structural behavior of the hydraulic tank in response to the flow and pressure as well as the variable thermal loads constitutes a multi-physics problem with the aspects of bubble motion, turbulence, heat transfer, and structural dynamics.
Fluid-structure interaction (FSI) modeling provides the opportunity to introduce and adjust the variables and evaluate design alternatives at a rate much faster than prototyping. This allows for several alternatives to be studied simultaneously by the engineering team, resulting in quicker solutions for product improvement.
Major engineering trends such as hybridization, 5G, autonomous systems, etc. are transforming the products and processes in many disciplines. Applying virtual reality in the design phase is much faster, and more economical than conventional prototyping and testing. Additionally, these high-fidelity simulations provide undeniable value by, for instance, suggesting suitable materials, appropriate tolerances and adequate manufacturing methods, etc. — all leading to the efficient management of engineering resources.
Download our white paper, “Design Innovation Through High-Fidelity Simulations” to learn how computer simulations can be used to examine the effect of inlet configurations on flow patterns of hydraulic tanks.
This article was contributed by Jagan Gorle, Ph.D., principal R&D engineer, Parker Hydraulic & Industrial Process Division.