OPTICALLY POWERED HYDRAULIC PILOT VALVE USING PIEZOELECTRIC MULTILAYER ACTUATOR

Authors

  • Jirapong Lim The Brunel Centre for Manufacturing Metrology, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK
  • Phillip R. Jackson Flight Refuelling Ltd., Wimborne, Dorset BH21 2BJ, UK
  • Qingping Yang The Brunel Centre for Manufacturing Metrology, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK
  • Barry E. Jones The Brunel Centre for Manufacturing Metrology, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK

Keywords:

hydraulic pilot valve, piezoelectric actuator, power-by-light system, optical power, flapper valve, fibre optic, hazardous environment

Abstract

A normally-closed 2/2 hydraulic pilot valve has been developed for a power- by-light system which is being applied in aerospace fuelling systems and oil-well applications. This system offers unique advantages such as good immunity from electromagnetic interference, intrinsic safety, and low attenuation for long distance. The valve employs a piezoelectric multilayer bender actuator (Pz29) with an elastomer blocking plate and a nozzle as the valve mechanism. The valve system is operated by 86 mW optical power which is transmitted via a multimode optical fibre (core diameter 62.5 μm) from a laser diode light source. The optical power is converted to electrical power by a photovoltaic cell, to drive the pilot valve, which requires, 8 mW electrical power to operate. The valve output flow-rate of 28 cm3/s has been achieved at an operating pressure of 1000 kPa, which is adequate for the applications. Howev-er, the maximum operating pressure up to 2000 kPa has already been tested. For the valve dynamic response, 18 ms average opening time and 1.5 seconds controllable smooth shut-off time have been observed. There was no valve opera-tion failure during vibration testing up to 196 m/s2. The pilot valve is now used to operate an aircraft refuelling valve system that provides aviation fuel flow-rate up to 680 l/min. It can also be used for other hazardous environments and noisy applications.

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Author Biographies

Jirapong Lim, The Brunel Centre for Manufacturing Metrology, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK

Jirapong Lim received his BEng and MEng in 1991 and 1996, respectively, in production engineer-ing with a major in industrial automation systems from King Mongkut's Institute of Technology North Bangkok, Thailand. During the period 1992-1998 he worked in the automation industries and then joined his university as a lecturer. He is now undertaking PhD research in the field of power-by-light and control-by-light of hydraulic valve systems in the Department of Systems Engineering, Brunel University, UK.

Phillip R. Jackson, Flight Refuelling Ltd., Wimborne, Dorset BH21 2BJ, UK

Phillip R Jackson is a Senior Project Engineer at Flight Refu-elling Ltd, Wimborne, UK, working in the field of power-by-light and control-by-light technology for the aerospace industry. His BEng was obtained at Edinburgh Universi-ty and he subsequently obtained MSc and PhD degrees in industrial measurement and control systems from Brunel University in 1993 and 1996, respectively.

Qingping Yang, The Brunel Centre for Manufacturing Metrology, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK

Qingping Yang received the Diploma in instrumentation and measurement from Chengdu Aeronau-tical Polytechnic, PR China in 1983. He was then an Assistant Engineer, at the Aircraft Structural Strength Research Insti-tute, PR China. He was awarded a scholar-ship to study at Brunel University in 1988 and finished his PhD in 1992. He currently lectures on manufacturing measurement and quality engineering. His current re-search interests include advanced sensors, dimensional metrology, quality engineer-ing, virtual instrumentation and measure-ment science. He has pub

Barry E. Jones, The Brunel Centre for Manufacturing Metrology, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK

Barry E. Jones has been Professor of Manufacturing Me-trology at Brunel University and Director of the Brune Centre for Manufacturing Me-trology (BCMM) since 1986. He is a previ-ous Honorary Editor of Journal of Physics E: Scientifc Instruments (now Measurement Science and Technology) and a past mem-ber of the UK Council for National Aca-demic Awards. He is author and editor of five books and has published over 250 papers and articles. Professor Jones was awarded the DSc from the University of Manchester in 1985 and holds fellowships of five professional bodies. He received a 1995 Metrology for World Class Manufac-turing Award as Champions of Metrology.

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Published

2001-11-01

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Original Article