Finite element modeling to expand the UMCCA model to describe biofilm mechanical behavior

C. S. Laspidou, B. E. Rittmann, S. A. Karamanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In order to understand the influence of biofilm's physical and microbiological structures on its mechanical behavior, a finite element model that describes the structural mechanics of a composite solid is linked to the outputs of the multi-component biofilm model UMCCA. The UMCCA model outputs densities of active biomass, inert biomass, and EPS for each compartment in a 2-D biofilm. These densities are mapped to the finite-element model to give a composite Young's modulus, which expresses the stress-strain properties of the biofilm by location. Sample results illustrate that using this methodology, one can identify the points in the biofilm that develop the highest internal stresses and that are most likely to fail first, leading to detachment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 7 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilm
  • EPS
  • Elasticity
  • Finite element analysis
  • Numerical modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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