Fluid Power Industry Selects Research Projects for CCEFP – Part 3

Eric Lanke NFPA CEO


by Eric Lanke

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I provided background on how industry is involved in pre-competitive research project selection for the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP).  The process begins with industry representatives identifying major research challenges facing our industry that are documented on a technology roadmap.  This roadmap is communicated to the CCEFP Director, Professor Kim Stelson.  Industry members prioritize the top three research areas of need.  Director Stelson issues a call for research project proposals to the U.S. academic community requesting solutions that address one or more of these needs.  The proposals received are evaluated, assessed, and ranked according to strategic alignment, project risk, and reward by CCEFP Industry Engagement Committee (IEC), a group of industry professionals with expertise in all areas of fluid power.  Other considerations include a balance between pneumatics and hydraulics, range of applications (off-road vehicles, industrial, medical, human-scale, etc.), and equitable distribution among institutions. Based on these recommendations by the IEC, the Center Director selects and approves the new research projects.

The result of this process, between December and March of this year, is the selection of 10 research projects awarded for funding, by the CCEFP, for the next two-year cycle.  These projects are highlighted:

AC Hydraulic Pump/Motor While a high percentage of electrical systems are AC, there are virtually no hydraulic AC systems available.  This project will model, design, prototype, and experimentally characterize a novel pump based on AC hydraulics for the application of displacement control. Prof. James Van de Ven
University of Minnesota
Simulation, Rheology and Efficiency of Polymer Enhanced Fluids This project will bridge the gap between the fundamental behavior of polymer-enhanced fluids and the performance of complex fluid power systems. Researcher Paul Michael
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Efficient, Integrated, Freeform Flexible Hydraulic Actuators This project will develop additively manufactured flexible fluidic actuating systems that exhibit an order of magnitude higher specific power than existing systems and maximize system efficiencies through model-based optimal control. Prof. Mark Nagurka
Marquette University
Four-Quadrant Multi-Fluid Pump/Motor This project will develop a high efficiency mechanically controlled four-quadrant pump/motor capable of pumping oil, water, and corrosive fluids. Prof. John Lumkes
Purdue University
Hybrid MEMS Proportional Fluid Control Valve This project will create extremely efficient pneumatic proportional valves by exploiting piezoelectric technology. Prof. Tom Chase
University of Minnesota
Portable Pneumatically Powered Orthoses This project will drive the development of enabling fluid power technologies to miniaturize fluid power systems for use in novel, human-scale, untethered devices in the 10 – 100 W range. Prof. Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Investigation of Noise Transmission through Pump Casing This project will model the transmission of the vibrations from a swash plate type axial piston pump through the pump’s casing to the generation of acoustical noise in the surrounding environment. Prof. Monika Ivantysynova
Purdue University
Control and Prognostic of Elecro-Hydraulic Machines This project will formulate the control approach for load handling hydraulic machines that combine oscillation damping features with system prognostic functions. Prof. Andrea Vacca
Purdue University
Free Piston Engine Based on Off-Road Vehicles This project will investigate the design, control, and testing of a hydraulic free piston engine for off-road vehicles to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Prof. Zongxuan Sun
University of Minnesota
Controlled Stirling Power Unit This project will develop a completely silent, high energy dense, and portable fluid power supply using a stirling device. Prof. Eric Barth
Vanderbilt University

Wow…what an impressive and diverse set of fluid power research projects.  In the upcoming months, we will be providing additional description on these projects, an introduction to the research team, and progress results.  These new projects will serve as the content of the next cycle of the CCEFP Webinar Series.

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