Certain types of Load-sensing (LS) pumps utilize a hydro-mechanical control system designed to regulate the pressure difference, or margin pressure, between the inlet and outlet of a flow control valve. With a constant margin pressure, predictable flow control can be achieved by controlling the orifice area of the flow control valve. In this work, the stability of the pressure control system will be investigated. A combination of linear analysis and nonlinear analysis is employed to assess the stability of a particular LS pump system. Among many nonlinearities present in the hydro-mechanical system, of particular interest is the saturation inherent in the actuator that is used to displace the pump swash plate and the saturation within the 3-way spool valve that permits flow to reach the actuator. This saturation nonlinearity has been isolated from the rest of the system to enable stability analysis. Analysis of model characteristics is used to make conclusions about the stability of the system consisting of interconnected linear and nonlinear portions. The stability analysis is compared to results obtained through a simulation study using a nonlinear model based on first principles.

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