Hydraulic Actuator with Physical Signal Ports

This example shows how to extend Simscape Multibody models with additional physical effects using joint actuation and joint sensing. A hydraulic actuator raises and lowers a lift table by extending and contracting. The table is a four-bar mechanism which moves vertically and horizontally.

This method of extending Simscape Multibody models uses joint sensing and joint actuation to connect to custom Simscape blocks that model mechanical and hydraulic effects. The physical effects are modeled using Foundation Library blocks.

To verify that consistent positions are used in the multibody model and the hydraulic actuator, click on the hyperlink to change the initial height of the table and rerun the simulation. The simulation results and animation show that the hard stops limit the travel of the piston correctly.



Hydraulic Actuator Subsystem

This hydraulic actuator is constructed using components from the Simscape Foundation library. Position information is communicated to the hydraulic chambers, and the resulting force is applied to the joint. No algebraic loop is created and the equations from both models are solved simultaneously. The hard stop (limit on actuator travel) is modeled using the joint limits in the Simscape Multibody Prismatic Joint.

Four Bar Subsystem

This models the lift table as a four-bar mechanism. The initial height of the table is set using the position state target for the Y-prismatic degree of freedom in the 6-DOF Joint labeled Initial Table Height. That value is set in the mask for this subsystem.

The 6-DOF Joint has no effect on the dynamics or kinematics during simulation. It is only used to set the initial position of the mechanism along an axis where we have not defined a joint.

Simulation Results from Simscape Logging

The table is lifted and lowered in stages. The upper and lower limits on the cylinder extension indicates that the cylinder has reached the ends of its range of travel.

Mechanics Explorer Animation