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Fluttering leaves to quantify leaf's stiffness

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100548.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100548)
Authors:   Matthieu Fuchs, Alireza Navid Hooshanginejad, Jisoo Yuk, Sunghwan Jung
Keywords:   Dehydration, Fluttering, Leaf Rigidity, Bio-fluid dynamics

Abstract. Leaves are constantly deforming and vibrating from exposure to blowing wind or impacting raindrops. Previous studies on the motion of a leaf upon drop impact have focused on analyzing the motion using a cantilever beam theory. However, a leaf exhibits a more complex dynamic response which involves not only a bending motion, but also twisting and flapping motions. In this study, we quantified how material properties (e.g., elasticity and size) of a leaf correlate with its fluttering motion. Specifically, the complex response of a peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) leaf upon a gentle hand strike at the tip of the lamina was decomposed into several degree-of-freedom modes of bending and torsion. Findings revealed that our theoretical model was in good agreement with experimental measurements in terms of the frequency and maximum amplitude of different motions. In other words, the stiffness of the leaf was estimated by measuring the frequency and amplitude of the leaf's motion. In previous studies, we illustrated the energy transfer from the raindrop to these modes as a function of the impact location, which may shed light on the design of potential raindrop energy harvesting devices mimicking a leaf structure. Our current study supports the investigation of leaf elasticity and size as indicators of leaf rigidity and overall plant performance under water stress.

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