Department of Mechanical Engineering

MCE 485 Fluid Power Systems Laboratory

Fall, 2009


Catalog Description:    MCE 485 Fluid Power Systems Laboratory (2-3-3). Prerequisites: ESC 301, MCE 371, MCE 380. Introduction to hydraulic and pneumatic fluid power components and systems, design of fluid power systems, analysis of components and systems, experimental verification of system modeling.


Prerequisites                Differential equations

by topic:                      Conservation of mass

                                    Conservation of energy

                                    Newton’s laws

                                    Kinematic analysis of constrained rigid bodies

                                    One-dimensional fluid dynamics

                                    Ideal gas behavior


Course Objectives:      1.  Introduce fluid power terminology, components, & systems.      

                                    2.  Provide skills to enable the design of safe, efficient, and modern hydraulic systems.


Course Outcomes:       Upon successful completion of this course, students will be expected to:

1.     Understand graphical symbols of fluid power components & systems.

2.     Understand the operation and function of fluid power components.

3.     Describe system operation from a symbolic system representation.

4.     Design a system to meet operational specification and identify commercial hardware for the system.


Program Outcomes:    This course prepares students to demonstrate the following outcomes of the mechanical engineering program:

(a)  Ability to apply math, science and engineering knowledge

(b)  Experimental design, and experimental data collection and analysis

(c)  Engineering design of mechanical systems, units and processes

(d)  Multi-disciplinary teamwork

(e)  Identification, formulation and solution of engineering problems

(f)  Understanding of global/social impact of engineering solutions and contemporary issues

(j)  Modern engineering practice


Textbook:                    Design Engineers Handbook:  Volume 1 – Hydraulics 

                                    Provided on CD from Parker-Hannifin Corp.


Instructor:                    Dr. William Atherton                                   Office:    SH-232

                                    Phone:    (216) 687-2595                             Fax:        (216) 687-5375


                                    Office Hours:  10:00-11:00 MWF &  2:00-3:00 TTh and by appointment


Grading:                      The course grade will be based on homework, laboratory reports, a midterm, a design project, and a final examination according to the following formula:


                                                            Homework average    x    20%

                                                            Lab average                x    20%

                                                            Midterm                     x    20%

                                                            Project                        x    20%

                                                            Final Exam                 x    20%

                                                            Total                               100%


                                    Homework will have a due date associated with each assignment.  Homework turned in late will loose 20% of its value per day (Saturday & Sunday excepted).  Late homework will not be accepted after solutions have been presented and zero credit will be given for the assignment.


Course Outline

 Week/Day                                                     Description                                                                  

  1.   Introduction to fluid power, lab safety, graphic symbols

        Overview of hydraulic components, bond graph modeling                                                        

  2.   Basic pump design concepts

        Gear, Piston, Vane pumps                                                                                                          

  3.   Pump design and modeling

        Lab #1:  Volumetric Efficiency                                                                                                   

  4.   Basic actuator design 

        Cylinder, Rotary, Intermittent Rotary                                                                                         

  5.   Actuator design and modeling

        Lab #2:  Cylinder Motion Evaluation                                                                                         

  6.   Valve design

        Pressure Control, Flow Control, Directional Control – Proportional & Servo                           

  7.   Spool valve design and modeling

        Lab #3:  Performance of Flow Control Valves                                                                                        8.         Accumulator design and modeling

        Piston type, Bladder type                                                                                                            

  9.   Valve Control of Cylinder Motion – VCCM Equations

        Lab #4:  Performance of Pressure Reducing Valves                                                                  

10.   Midterm Examination

        Lab #5:  Proportional Valve – Pressure Metering                                                                      

11.   Pneumatics                                                                                                                                 

12.   Control strategies of hydraulic systems                                                                                      

13.   Modeling hydraulic systems                                                                                                       

14.   Modeling hydraulic systems                                                                                                       

15.   Modeling hydraulic systems                                                                                                       

16.   Final Examination – December 8, 8:00 – 9:50 pm