On Electrohydraulic Pressure Control for Power Steering Applications : Active Steering for Road Vehicles
Abstract: This thesis deals with the Electrohydraulic Power Steering system for road vehicles, using electronic pressure control valves. With an ever increasing demand for safer vehicles and fewer traffic accidents, steering-related active safety functions are becoming more common in modern vehicles. Future road vehicles will also evolve towards autonomous vehicles, with several safety, environmental and financial benefits. A key component in realising such solutions is active steering.The power steering system was initially developed to ease the driver's workload by assisting in turning the wheels. This is traditionally done through a passive open-centre hydraulic system and heavy trucks must still rely on fluid power, due to the heavy work forces. Since the purpose of the original system is to control the assistive pressure, one way would be to use proportional pressure control valves. Since these are electronically controlled, active steering is possible and with closed-centre, energy efficiency can be significantly improved on.In this work, such a system is analysed in detail with the purpose of investigating the possible use of the system for Boost curve control and position control for autonomous driving. Commercially available valves are investigated since they provide an attractive solution. A model-based approach is adopted, where simulation of the system is an important tool. Another important tool is hardware-in-the-loop simulation. A test rig of an electrohydraulic power steering system, is developed.This work has shown how proportional pressure control valves can be used for Boost curve control and position control and what implications this has on a system level. As it turns out, the valves add a great deal of time lag and with the high gain from the Boost curve, this creates a control challenge. The problem can be handled by tuning the Boost gain, pressure response and damping and has been effectively shown through simulation and experiments. For position control, there is greater freedom to design the controller to fit the system. The pressure response can be made fast enough for this case and the time lag is much less critical.
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