In order to expand the operational capabilities of hydraulically actuated systems the development of new valves to allow of enhanced flow rates and bandwidth performance is required. Previously, the technical challenge in developing such valves was the need for large spool strokes to achieve the desired flow rates. However, this would then hinder the dynamic response of the valve. To increase flow without reducing dynamic performance it is proposed that the use of multiple metering edges is appropriate. This is achievable using the Ho¨rbiger plate valve principle and direct connection to a piezoelectric actuator. This paper examines the design criteria associated with such a valve. Simulations undertaken as part of its construction and design show that improved flow rates can be achieved. Results from these simulations are then included in orifice equations to further predict flow as a function of plate separation. Finally a simulation was undertaken to determine the total forces acting on the valve, and the forces on the piezoactuator were found to be compressive under normal conditions, which should lead to predictable and stable operation.

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