Digital hydraulics is a key part of the continuing applicability of fluid power in the modern world. In order to realize the potential of digital hydraulic circuits, valves which are able to switch at high frequencies whilst retaining high flows are first required. This paper details the development of a valve which is capable of switching in 0.5ms whilst providing a flow rate of over 50L/min at a 10bar pressure drop. Unlike most of the other valves currently in development, position control is used as opposed to the more common bang-bang actuation. This has obvious benefits for valve robustness and offers the possibility of a hybrid control approach which utilizes both throttling and switching control. This paper will detail the design and empirical testing of the valve and benchmark it against published and commercial valves before proceeding to discuss the challenges present in developing the valve further.

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