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Re: Electric power steering for my 8N

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Author  [Modern View]

01-15-2020 14:35:17

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I spent decades in a profession where research and fact finding was job one. When I post here I try to base my assertions on same. I typically spend time researching my assertions before I put them in print for the world to see in perpetuity and in this case I have spent more than a little time at that. Here is an example of that research - a simple explanation of the basic operation of EPS with some quantifications for the doubters. It is GM specific but generally representative of the type, size, and power of EPS steering motors.

General Motors Electric Power Steering (EPS)

Per that GM document their steering motor is a 12V DC brushless permanent magnet motor with a current rating of 58 amps max. That current is instantaneous and cannot be sustained for more than a second or two without the risk of motor damage and in any event isn't going to make enough torque to bend or break any steering gear or tie rod end I ever saw. Less you accuse me of another ipsi dixit assertion here is a link to a reference that will walk you through the math of guestimating the torque output of such a motor:

Motor Constants

Maybe that reference isn't the sort of thing you are looking for. . As you can see the calculation is a little complicated so maybe we go this way. Here is a link to typical 12V DC right angle gear motor of the type used in that EPS system:

Typical 12 VDC Permanent Magnet Gear Motor

This motor has a maximum current rating of 16A, no load speed of 500 RPM, rated torque of 8.5 in-lbs, and a speed of 250 RPM at rated torque. Not exactly gear busting numbers. And neither is the output of that slightly larger 58A GM motor. Both are going to need a lot of help from the EPS reduction drive to get anything close to what a human could produce at the steering wheel.
I will repeat my hopefully not so ipsi dixit now assertion : a typical EPS steering motor is going to stall when presented with an immobilized steering gear and locked rotor current in the motor is going to skyrocket. As described in my earlier reference the motor controller is going to see that spike and immediately back the power off or shut it down completely to prevent frying the motor. Input torque to the steering gear is never going to get much more than what a human could pull up without assist and nothing is going to get broken except possibly the motor.

You can find many more credible references corroborating my "ipsi dixit" assertions in greater detail if you would like to do a little research rather than spew FUD. And if you do avail yourself of some real research on this matter you will quickly discover the steering motor is the weak link in this arrangement, the one that will be the first to fail if overloaded, and the one that needs to be and is protected by the motor controller. The inconvenient for you facts are all there if you bother to look.


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