Design and testing of an adjustable linkage for a variable displacement pump

Shawn R Wilhelm, James D Van De Ven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A variable displacement hydraulic pump/motor with high efficiency at all operating conditions,including low displacement, is beneficial to multiple applications. Two major energy loss terms in conventional pumps are the friction and lubrication leakage in the kinematic joints. This paper presents the synthesis, analysis, and experimental validation of a variable displacement sixbar crank-rocker-slider mechanism that uses low friction pin joints instead of planar joints as seen in conventional variable pump/motor architectures. The novel linkage reaches true zero displacement with a constant top dead center position, further minimizing compressibility energy losses. The synthesis technique develops the range of motion for the base fourbar crank-rocker and creates a method of synthesizing the output slider dyad. It is shown that the mechanism can be optimized for minimum footprint and maximum stroke with a minimum base fourbar transmission angle of 30 deg and a resultant slider transmission angle of 52 deg. The synthesized linkage has a dimensionless stroke of 2.1 crank lengths with a variable timing ratio and velocity and acceleration profiles in the same order of magnitude as a comparable crank-slider mechanism. The kinematic and kinetic results from an experimental prototype linkage agree well with the model predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041008
JournalJournal of Mechanisms and Robotics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 11 2013


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