The occurrence of self-excited noise felt as squealing noise is a critical issue for an electrohydraulic servovalve that is an essential part of the hydraulic servocontrol system. Aiming to highlight the root causes of the self-excited noise, the effect of oil viscosity on the noise production inside a two-stage servovalve is investigated in this paper. The pressure pulsations' characteristics and noise characteristics are studied at three different oil viscosities experimentally by focusing on the flapper-nozzle pilot stage of a two-stage servovalve. The cavitation-induced and vortex-induced pressure pulsations' characteristics at upstream and downstream of the turbulent jet flow path are extracted and analyzed numerically by comparing with the experimental measured pressure pulsations and noise characteristics. The numerical simulations of transient cavitation shedding phenomenon are also validated by the experimental cavitation observations at different oil viscosities. Both numerical simulations and experimental cavitation observations explain that cavitation shedding phenomenon is intensified with the decreasing of oil viscosity. The small-scale vortex propagation with the characteristic of generating, growing, moving, and merging is numerically simulated. Thus, this study reveals that the oil viscosity affects the transient distribution of cavitation and small-scale vortex, which, in turn, enhances the pressure pulsation and noise. The noise characteristics achieve a good agreement with pressure pulsation characteristics showing that the squealing noise appears accompanied by the flow field resonance in the flapper-nozzle. The flow-acoustic resonance and resulting squealing noise possibly occurs when the amplitude of the pressure pulsations near the flapper is large enough inside a two-stage servovalve.

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