Development of a method for determining tensile strength of algal filaments using motion capture
Alzate, Andres Felipe
MetadataShow full item record
One of the most difficult endeavors in filamentous algal growth models is predicting the occurrence of sloughing. Algal sloughing can stem from various sources such as from biological or mechanical means. The focus of this study is to investigate the role of fluid shear on the benthic filament mass. This research proposes a method to model the external forces on a benthic filament from the aquatic environment and the internal forces from the movement of the filament mass itself. To accomplish this, three parallel endeavors were pursued. First, a fluid-structure force interaction model was developed that can be applied to a multi-node cylindrical benthic filament model. Second, a finite element modeling approach was used to estimate the internal structural properties based on the filament mass displacement under a specified external force. Third, motion capture techniques from experimental video footage were utilized to provide data for the fluid-structure interaction model and validation of the finite-element model. In laboratory application of this methodology on an experimental sample of mixed-culture filamentous algae, a value of 4.2 MPa was calculated for the internal stress in a filament, a value in close agreement with literature values. This method can provide an in-situ approach to investigate the structural properties of the algal filament in its natural aquatic environment without the use of expensive equipment.