Fluid Power Components


The research group „Fluid Power Components“ researches and develops fluid power drive components in the field of oil and water hydraulics, as well as pneumatics.



+49 241 80 47733



Group Presentation

The development and operation of fluid power components are subject to economic, ecological and legal boundary conditions. There are numerous trade-offs to solve.

  • High efficiency and functionality
  • Low noise
  • Robustness and long life
  • Use of recyclable and non-toxic materials and supplies

Smart components
In addition to the further development of existing conventional components, the implementation of smart units with embedded sensors is driven forward. These are able to prevent a failure or secondary damage by self-diagnosis or by feedback to a higher-level system control

  • Optimization of operation
  • Reduction of downtime and costs
  • Minimization of maintenance
  • Optimization of the operating range

Investigations are undertaken in the framework of basic research, pre-competitive research, joint research and industrial projects in a variety of fields. It covers the entire range of available pressure media as well as gaseous media.

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Construction, agricultural and forestry machines
  • Stationary equipment, production machines
  • Renewable energy

The group takes into account the upcoming challenges in component research and development from all relevant perspectives.

  • Analytical
  • Numeric
  • Experimental

This available methodology is used in the analysis of customary components, in the adaptation or optimization to specific use cases, as well as in the development of corrective measures in case of damage.



Decentralized hydraulic axis with high-speed components

An electro hydraulic actuator (EHA) with a high speed power unit for demanding requirements of mobile applications for compactness and power density is being developed at IFAS in cooperation with the IME of RWTH Aachen University and the VDMA. Therefore a new high speed internal gear pump is designed in order to achieve a speed level increase and thus an increase in power density of the hydraulic system. Consequently, high demands are placed on the EHA’s pump and the hydraulic periphery.

Ceramic flat spool valve

Cylindrical spool valves made of steel have two major disadvantages. The non-adjustable annular gap between spool and bushing leads to dissipation through leakage and the wear of the control edges due to very hard particles in the fluid leads to a change of the operating behavior. In cooperation with the IWM of RWTH Aachen University, a ceramic flat slide valve is being developed at IFAS which avoids the previously mentioned weak points.

Analysis of the acoustic emission of pneumatic components

The excitation of pneumatic systems at different positions causes structure-borne noise and airborne noise, which is perceived by people in the environment as unpleasant and permanently affect the hearing significantly. By means of a specially developed measuring method, which allows reproducible comparative measurements on different components, and a holistic simulation model, the primary sound sources are identified. This enables the incorporation of acoustical optimization into the development process of products at an early stage.

Simulative and experimental investigation of cylinder block – valve plate contact in axial piston machines

In this DFG-funded project a combination of experimental and theoretical approaches was used on the basis of a self-developed simulation program to obtain information on the tribological contact. Gap heights in the range of a few micrometers and contact friction were measured realistically on a 160 kW pump and modeled numerically.

Lumped parameter reservoir simulation

Entrained air in the oil causes many problems for hydraulic systems and adversely affects the performance of the system. In this research project, the transient air release capacity in the hydraulic tank is first simulated using a lumped parameter simulation including a multi-phase fluid model and then experimentally validated. This simulation requires relatively low computing capacities and times and is therefore also applicable for small and medium businesses.


Current Research Projects

Psychoacoustics and subjective assessment of variable-speed hydraulic drives

Increasing the efficiency of the contact valve plate/cylinder block in axial piston machines

Electromechanical actuation of large directional control valves in flow-controlled hydraulic systems
Fast-Screening-Test for tribological contacts in pneumatic valves


Completed Research Projects

Decentralized compact hydraulic power supply
Proof of the functionality of a flat slide valve with ceramic components for hydraulics
Pressure controller for variable displacement pumps without bypass losses
Increased efficiency through efficient actuation systems
Air-free oil through optimized tank design
Endurance prediction of hydraulic valves
Analytical calculation of the reaction forces in spool valves

Development of a multi-phase cavitation model for the oil hydraulics

Radial piston unit with axial cone valve plates
Simulative and experimental investigation of the contact cylinder block – valve plate in axial piston machines