The present study is focused on the construction of a well-performing pilot controlled proportional flow valve with internal displacement-flow feedback. A novel control strategy for the valve is proposed in which the flow rate through the valve is directly controlled. The linear mathematical model for the valve is established and a fuzzy proportional–integral–derivative (PID) controller is designed for the flow control. In order to obtain the flow rate used as feedback rapidly and accurately in real-time, back propagation neural network (BPNN) is employed to predict the flow rate through the valve with the pressure drop through the main orifice and main valve opening, and the predicted value is used as the feedback. Both simulation and experimental results show that the predicted value obtained by BPNN is reliable and available for the feedback. The proposed control strategy is effective with which the flow rate through the valve remains almost constant when the pressure drop through the main orifice increases and the valve can be applied to the conditions where the independence of flow rate and load is required. For the valve with the proposed control strategy, the nonlinearity is less than 5.3%, the hysteresis is less than 4.2%, and the bandwidth is about 16 Hz. The static and dynamic characteristics are reasonable and acceptable.

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