The present work describes the modeling of a proportional relief valve actuated by an electromagnet. Two models were developed and compared each other: a detailed nonlinear model and its linearized version. The modeling approach presented has a general nature and can be applied to various types of electrohydraulic proportional valves (EHPV). The comparison between nonlinear and linear model results shows the limits of the linear approximation to study the real component. Substantially, the nonlinear model is composed by three submodels: the fluid-dynamic model (for the evaluation of the main flow features), the mechanical model (which solves the mobile body motion), and the electromagnetic model (which evaluates the magnetic forces and the electric transient). All submodels are based on a lumped parameter (LP) approach and they implement a specific set of nonlinear equations. However, to carefully model the main electromagnetic phenomena that characterize the proportional electromagnet behavior (including: magnetic losses, fringing effects, and magnetic saturation), a finite element analysis (FEA) 3D model was developed by the authors. The LP electromagnetic model is based on a particular use of the FEA 3D model steady state results. A series of transient simulations were performed through the FEA 3D model in order to quantify the effect of the eddy currents and to determine a second order transfer function used in the linear model to describe the electromagnet dynamics. The remaining parts of the linear model are obtained by linearizing the nonlinear model equations. The FEA 3D model was experimentally validated in steady-state conditions, while the results of the overall model of the valve were verified in both steady-state and dynamic conditions.

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