Servovalves are compact, accurate, fast flow modulating valves. However, cost reduction pressures exist, not least due to the electomagnetically actuated pilot stage. This paper describes a servovalve with a jet deflector pilot stage actuated by a multilayer piezoelectric bimorph. The electrical power and voltage requirements are relatively low (+/−30V), and mechanical spool feedback is used as opposed to the more complex electrical feedback alternative. A mathematical model of the valve is presented, which is used to simulate its performance. Finite element analysis is used to model the bimorph actuator and the feedback wire assembly to verify an Euler-Bernoulli beam analysis. A Moog 26 Series servovalve is used as a basis for the prototype. Experimental test results are in good agreement with the simulation results. The high order nonlinear model is also approximated by a first order transfer function to identify the parameters that dictate the main design tradeoffs.

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