Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Monika Ivantysynova

Committee Chair

Monika Ivantysynova

Committee Member 1

Stuart Bolton

Committee Member 2

Charles Krousgrill


Axial piston machines are widely used in many industries for their designs compactness, flexibility in power transfer, variable flow rate, and high efficiencies as compared to their manufacturing costs. One important component of all axial piston machines that is a very influential on the performance of the unit is the valve plate. The aim of this research is to develop a design methodology that is general enough to design all types of valve plates and the simple enough not to require advanced technical knowledge from the user. A new style of valve plate designs has been developed that comprehensively considers all previous design techniques and does not require significant changes to the manufacturing processes of valve plates. The design methodology utilizes a previously developed accurate computer model of the physical phenomenon. This allows the precise optimization of the valve plate design through the use of simulations rather than expensive trial and error processes. The design of the valve plate is clarified into the form of an optimization problem. This formulation into an optimization problem has motivated the selection of an optimization algorithm that satisfies the requirements of the design. The proposed design methodology was successfully tested in a case study in the shown to be very successful in improving required performance of the valve plate design.