This paper presents some results from an attempt to characterize hydraulic oil flow inside spool valves with different spool metering notches using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Hydraulic spool valve oil flow under different conditions has been simulated using a commercially available CFD software program. The fluid flow is assumed steady-state, incompressible, isothermal and normally in a turbulent mode. A complete simulation procedure is presented from parametric geometry creation with a 3-D solid CAD program through final post-processing of CFD results. Main focus of this study is to explore the effects of geometric parameters of notches on important hydraulic oil flow characteristics, such as flow force and discharge coefficients. Formulas, intended for predicting such flow forces and discharge coefficients at different stage of spool notch openings, have been generalized and summarized under certain conditions based on a CFD result database from groups of same types of notches. Results comparison to experimental data is also presented.

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