With pressure and flow control valves the energy of the hydraulic fluid is dissipated in a very inefficient manner. Sharp bends and non-ideal flow paths typically cause : * considerable vortexing and turbulence * very low discharge coefficients (through orifices) * low accuracy of flow control * extraneous heating of the working fluid (which sometimes requires compensation down-stream) * excessive pressure losses and power wastage * increased wear of the component and objectionable noise These leads to reduced component lifetime, increased failure potential, reduced overall efficiency and higher power input. By definition, hydraulic systems will operate at high pressure and in some instances these will be at high temperatures too. Many hydraulic fluids are also flammable. In this respect. failure of a hydraulic valve is very undesirable. It is the proposal of this project that it will be possible to significantly improve the flow dynatnics and wear resistance of existing hydraulic pressure and flow control valves by performing an in-depth computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and materials analysis. The main RTD goals and intentions are summarised below : Design, configuration and CFD analysis of a range of alternative flow and pressure control valve systems to minimise vortexing and turbulence by improving fluid flow paths. Identification and evaluation of alternative valve materials (such as ceramics) in order to decrease erosive wear processes and hence increase operational life-time. To undertake a detailed experimental and industrial testing programme to fully evaluate and optimise the performance of the configured designs. The successful completion of the above will significantly increase the overall efficiency of hydraulic systems as well as reducing power wastage and failure risk.