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Bond Graph Modeling of Mechanical Dynamics of an Excavator for Hydraulic System Analysis and Design

Authors: Mutuku Muvengei, John Kihiu


This paper focuses on the development of bond graph dynamic model of the mechanical dynamics of an excavating mechanism previously designed to be used with small tractors, which are fabricated in the Engineering Workshops of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. To develop a mechanical dynamics model of the manipulator, forward recursive equations similar to those applied in iterative Newton-Euler method were used to obtain kinematic relationships between the time rates of joint variables and the generalized cartesian velocities for the centroids of the links. Representing the obtained kinematic relationships in bondgraphic form, while considering the link weights and momenta as the elements led to a detailed bond graph model of the manipulator. The bond graph method was found to reduce significantly the number of recursive computations performed on a 3 DOF manipulator for a mechanical dynamic model to result, hence indicating that bond graph method is more computationally efficient than the Newton-Euler method in developing dynamic models of 3 DOF planar manipulators. The model was verified by comparing the joint torque expressions of a two link planar manipulator to those obtained using Newton- Euler and Lagrangian methods as analyzed in robotic textbooks. The expressions were found to agree indicating that the model captures the aspects of rigid body dynamics of the manipulator. Based on the model developed, actuator sizing and valve sizing methodologies were developed and used to obtain the optimal sizes of the pistons and spool valve ports respectively. It was found that using the pump with the sized flow rate capacity, the engine of the tractor is able to power the excavating mechanism in digging a sandy-loom soil.

Keywords: Actuators, Inverse Dynamics, bond graphs, recursive equations, quintic polynomial trajectory

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