The paper presents a novel concept of a pressure adaptive piston/cylinder interface design for a swashplate type axial piston machine that uses a pressurized groove around the bushing inside the cylinder block. This groove is connected to the pump displacement chamber and it uses pressure deformations of the bushing to improve the sealing function of the piston/cylinder lubricating interface. Such a design concept is based on a groove design that is easy to manufacture, thus resulting in a cost-effective design solution.

The proposed piston/cylinder interface design is simulated using a multi-domain simulation model developed by the authors’ research team. The tool is particularly suitable for the analysis of the internal gap flows, being based on a fully coupled fluid structure thermal interaction model, which calculates the non-isothermal gap fluid behavior considering solid body deformations due to temperature and pressure effects.

The proposed solution is compared in simulation with respect to a standard design of an axial piston pump. The results indicate that the proposed pressure adaptive piston/cylinder interface is able to improve the sealing function of the piston/cylinder interface at different operating conditions. Therefore, the proposed novel design can be seen as a possible method to increase the energy efficiency of the current designs of swash plate units.

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