|This electronic brochure highlights our
capabilities and activities in the area of Hydraulic Fluid Power Technology.
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additional information, e-mail Glenn
Hydraulic Fluid Power Technology
Hydraulic fluid power systems produce unparalleled levels of
power with tremendous flexibility and minimal size and weight requirements. Since 1947,
Southwest Research Institute has helped industry and government develop specialty
hydraulic systems, while identifying and resolving pneumatic and hydraulic fluid power
SwRI offers services in:
- Conceptual component design
- Computer-aided design
- Circuit design
- Solid marketing
- Finite element analysis
- Dynamic computer simulations
- Control system analysis
- Component selection
- System fabrication
- Electrical integration
- Control electronics development
Engineering activities are supported by comprehensive testing
and support facilities:
- Dual dynamometer test stands
- Engine-driven test stands
- Small pump test stand
- Noise and vibration test facilities
- Environmental simulators
- Radioactive tracer wear test techniques
- High-pressure test/burst facilities
The Institute designs hydraulic components for high
performance, high efficiency, and long life. Using computerized solid modeling design
systems, SwRI rapidly develops new designs that integrate advanced materials and
processing techniques to optimize performance, minimize wear, and increase service life.
Using a computerized solid modeling CAD system, SwRI
designed the complex internal porting of this prototype control valve.
Institute engineers designed and developed a
retractable suspension system for a prototype high water-speed amphibious armored
personnel carrier. The lightweight unit uses a compressible fluid as a spring with
internal pressures up to 18,000 psi.
The Institute tests hydraulic components and systems to
evaluate the performance and endurance of:
- Motors (including high-speed, low-torque)
- Hydrostatic transmissions
- System accessories
Using computerized data acquisition and control, SwRI
accurately measures component and system performance, both in the laboratory and in the
field. Flexible facilities allow the Institute to design custom tests for equipment
ranging from a small pneumatic hand tool to a hydrostatic vehicle transmission.
The Institute studies overall pump efficiency and
pumping losses at various speeds, pressures, and temperatures. Automatic transmission pump
and power steering pump efficiency variations can significantly affect vehicle fuel
Using computerized analysis tools, SwRI simulates components
and systems to analyze problems, predict performance, and optimize designs. The Institute
offers a variety of analysis techniques that minimize product development time and costs,
- 3-D CAD solid modeling
- Finite element analysis
- Transient component and system simulations
- Computational fluid dynamics analysis
- Probabilistic analysis
- Control system design and analysis
- Classical and modern control theory
- Fuzzy logic
- Adaptive control
- Neural networks
Using simulations of vehicle active suspension
systems, SwRI develops control algorithms and predicts performance and power requirements.
Combining the muscle of hydraulics with the flexible control of
electronics, SwRI provides optimal hydraulic control systems. Using commercially available
hardware or custom-designed electronic circuit boards and hybrid circuits, engineers
develop systems to meet performance requirements as well as radio frequency emissions and
An SwRI-developed computer-controlled, dual-path,
hydrostatic transmission propels a prototype amphibious armored personnel carrier both on
land and in water.
Institute engine and vehicle expertise is augmented by
specialists in materials, fluids, experiment design, and data analysis.
Materials analysis and testing
Specialized laboratories support analysis of materials to diagnose failures and
applications research in advanced materials and coatings.
Fluids analysis and research
Extensive laboratory tests provide detailed information about fluid conditions and
properties. SwRI conducts standardized fluid wear tests and evaluates fluid filters for
performance and durability. A state-of-the-art fuel and chemical processing facility
processes and blends special fluids.
Experimental methods design
To determine hydraulic component and system parameters and characteristics, SwRI engineers
prepare test schedules to replicate actual operating conditions. With fractional factorial
screening and Taguchi techniques, experimental runs are minimized while maximizing the
value of the data.
All data are examined for appropriateness, accuracy, calibration, and repeatability. The
Institute applies statistical methods, such as response surface modeling and analysis of
variance, to characterize component performance.
Institute engineers evaluate hydraulic component
compatibility with a nonflammable hydraulic fluid.
This brochure was published in October 1994. For more information
about hydraulic fluid power technology, contact Glenn
Wendel, manager, Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division, Southwest Research
Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510, Phone (210) 522-2622, Fax
Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Brochures
SwRI Technical Divisions