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Acoustic emission

Acoustic Emission (AE) sensing is commonly used in mechanical testing of coupons, components or structures to provide extra information about the damage type (including its location and severity) occurring within the material. There is great interest in developing Structural Health Monitoring systems using AE sensors.

When certain dynamic processes occur rapidly in or on the surface of a material, some of the energy released generates elastic stress waves - one might say vibrations within the material. These stress waves propagate from the source and eventually reach the surface, thus producing small temporary surface displacements. Sensitive transducers, commonly piezoelectric sensors, convert the accelerations at the surface into an electrical waveform signal. By studying the characteristics of the waveform it is possible to determine important information about the state of the material.

Acoustic emissions are :

  • stress waves caused by sudden internal stress redistribution

  • elastic

  • damage- related

AE Sources by material are: 

  • Metals

  • Concrete

  • Composites

  • Fluid Leakage

Advantages of AE 

  • Detects activities inside the materials

  • Defect detection is easy through time differential of signals

  • AE monitors continuously

Disadvantages of AE 

  • Other NDE methods are needed to provide quantitative results

  • Signal discrimination and noise reduction are difficult


On 10th May 2013 Materials Testing Laboratory, meeting the criteria for the technical requirements for performing Acoustic Emisson test. On 13th August 2014 Materials Testing Laboratory, meeting the requirements for new procedure - "Testing pressure equipment during operation". Approved procedure cover AE testing  on the pressure equipment, pipelines, gas pressure equipment, low pressure storage tank for liquids.

Laboratory testing
Pressure vessel
Pressure vessel operating at elevated temperatures
Technological pipelines
Storage tanks
Spherical tanks - LPG
Cryogenic tanks
Hydrogen tanks
Concrete structures
Drilling towers and masts

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