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Acoustic Emission

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Various Structures Can Be tested Acoustic emission testing has been used on many types of vessels and components:

Some Benefits of AE

Fiberglass tanks and vessels Metal pressure vessels - piping, reactors, spheres Storage tanks Hot reheat steam lines Fiberglass fan blades Tube trailers New vessels

AE is a global monitoring technique. The entire structure can be monitored from a few locations. No vessel entry is needed. Most of the time, the equipment can be monitored while in service with little interruption to the normal process. There is typically less time and less cost than other NDE methods due to testing a structure during only one test. Insulation in small areas only needs to be removed.

Several loading techniques are used and the one of choice is over-pressurizing on-line. Other loading methods are pneumatic, hydrostatic, thermal - including

Detects only active defects, not dormant or inactive defects. If areas are detected in the AE testing, only those areas need further inspection.

monitoring as a high temperature unit comes off line, leak testing, continuous on-line and remote continuous on-line. Ammonia Tanks and Pressure Vessels With the possibility of failure in aging ammonia storage equipment along with increasing regulatory requirements, there is more emphasis on the reliability of this equipment. To avoid failure, cracks must be detected before they reach the critical size with regard to leak or unstable crack growth. Internal inspection is common practice, but can be less desirable, as opening the vessel can initiate or aggravate a SCC condition by admitting oxygen to the vessel. Another alternative is the combination of AE testing to detect the active cracks, and external automated ultrasonics (AUT) to map and size the defects.

Visit the web site of Applied Inspection Systems to get more information.


Acoustic Emission, according to ASTM, refers to the generation of transient elastic waves during the rapid release of energy from localized sources within a material. The source of these emissions in metals is closely associated with the dislocation movement accompanying plastic deformation and the initiation and extension o cracks in a structure under stress. Other sources of Acoustic Emission are: melting, phase transformation, thermal stresses, cool down cracking and stress build up.

The Acoustic Emission NDT technique is based on the detection and conversion of these high frequency elast waves to electrical signals. This is accomplished by directly coupling piezoelectric transducers on the surface o the structure under test and loading the structure. Sensors are coupled to the structure by means of a fluid couplant and are secured with tape, adhesive bonds or magnetic hold downs. The output of each piezoelectric sensor (during structure loading) is amplified through a low-noise preamplifier, filtered to remove any extraneo noise and furthered processed by suitable electronic equipment.

The instrumentation of Acoustic Emission must provide some measure of the total quantity of detected emissio for correlation with time and/or load. Applications

Laboratory & R&D studies In field inspection Structural integrity evaluation Vessels testing [ambient, hot or cryogenic, metallic and FRP, spheres] Tank bottom testing Nuclear components inspection (valves, lift beams, steam lines) Corrosion detection Pipeline testing Transformers testing (Partial Discharge) Railroad tank car testing Tube trailers & high pressure gas cylinders Reactor & high energy piping testing Aging aircraft evaluation Advanced materials testing (composites, ceramics) Production quality control Rocket motor testing.
2. Acoustic Emission FOR Laboratory Testing
Acoustic Emission inspection is a powerful aid to materials testing and the study of deformation, fracture and