A model of the relay valve used in an air brake system Academic Article uri icon


  • The mathematical model governing the response of the relay valve in an air brake leads to a hybrid system in which different governing equations apply to different phases of the response of the air brake. To accurately describe the brake's response characteristics it is imperative to take into account this hybrid structure, and it is to this aspect of the problem that this paper is addressed. The safe operation of any vehicle on the road depends, amongst other things, on a properly operating brake system. Most commercial vehicles such as trucks, tractor-trailers, buses, etc., are equipped with an air brake system. Any defect in a brake system can degrade its performance seriously and can lead to accidents. It is desirable and also important to develop systems that can control and diagnose air brake systems in order to both sustain and improve their performance. One approach to develop such systems is by obtaining a model of the air brake system and then using the same in the design process. The air brake system currently used in commercial vehicles can be broadly divided into a pneumatic subsystem and a mechanical subsystem. One of the main components in the pneumatic subsystem is the relay valve which operates the brakes on the rear axles of a tractor and the axles of a trailer. A relay valve has different modes of operation and the pressure response of the relay valve can be naturally described as the response of a hybrid system. In this article, we develop a hybrid dynamical model to predict the pressure response of the relay valve. An air brake testing facility has been set up at Texas A&M University and this model will be corroborated against experimental data obtained from the same. 2007.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Natarajan, S. V., Subramanian, S. C., Darbha, S., & Rajagopal, K. R.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Natarajan, SV||Subramanian, SC||Darbha, S||Rajagopal, KR

publication date

  • September 2007