The PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) control of ER valve consisting of two parallel electrodes has been investigated to continuously control the flow rate of an electrorheological (ER) suspension containing sulfonated polymer particles in silicone oil. PWM wave voltages are applied to the electrodes of the ER valve. It is possible to control continuously the flow rate by changing the duty ratio of the PWM wave from 1 to 0, where the duty ratio of 1 corresponds to the state to stop the flow. A miniature bellows actuator driven by a pair of PWM controlled ER valves has been developed, and the control characteristics of the actuator have been investigated. The duty ratios of both ER valves have been proposed to be changed alternately in proportion to the control voltage V to control the flow rate into and out of the bellows chamber, and also an overlap duty ratio Dov at V=0 V has been introduced. The introduction of the overlap duty ratio Dov was found to be very important to smoothly control the actuator and to improve the control performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics