PhD Studentship: Novel Integrated Control of Fluid-borne Noise in Fluid Power Systems

University of Bath - Department of Mechanical Engineering

The problem of high noise levels generated by hydraulically powered machines has risen in awareness amongst industry and the general public. Exposure to high noise levels for long periods can result in clinically significant hearing loss, impaired performance of workers and may also lead to worker fatigue and associated carelessness. The health and safety issues relating to noise have been recognised for many years and legislation is now placing clear demands on manufacturers to reduce noise levels. 

Existing passive systems or components for fluid-borne noise attenuation, such as silencers, pulsation dampers and accumulators have been applied widely in fluid power systems and shown to be effective to reduce fluid-borne noise. However, they require tuning to specific systems, their attenuation frequency range is limited and they are bulky for some applications. In addition, passive attenuation devices based on expansion chambers and accumulators are likely to be unsuitable for high dynamic response systems as they add compliance to the system and impair the dynamic response. My recent research on active fluid-borne noise control methods has proven that active devices have the potential to be effective at a much wider range of frequencies and system designs without significantly affecting the system dynamic response. However it is not very effective for high frequency cancellation as it is limited by the bandwidth of the controller.

To address these challenges, a novel integrated control method for fluid-borne noise attenuation is proposed. The control system is built by integrating an active feedforward noise controller with passive tuned flexible hoses. The active attenuator is designed to cancel the dominant harmonic pressure pulsations in the fluid line, while the passive hose is tuned to attenuate the residual high frequency pulsations.

The proposed work is novel as: 1) The integrated fluid-borne noise control approach engages the passive and active control methods for the first time and takes advantage of both active and passive approaches to form a novel high bandwidth and high dynamic response noise control system. 2) This new approach provides a more effective and energy-efficiency solution to attenuate noise in fluid power systems and has significant commercial potential in hydraulic machines.

The research outcomes will enable these developers and manufacturers to produce quieter and more efficient machines, as well as leading to other design improvements such as compact power supplies, intelligent hydraulic components and efficient fluid power system designs.

A Home/EU award will provide full tuition fees, an annual Training Support Fee of £1,000, and a tax-free maintenance payment of £14,553 (2017-8 rate) for up to 3.5 years.

An Overseas award (3 years): Provides tuition fee, an annual Training Support Fee of £1,000, but no stipend.

The successful applicant will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent).

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South West England