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Acoustic Emission (AE) Technology

AE Technology

AE Overview

Did you know that materials "talk" when they are in trouble? With Acoustic Emission, you can "listen" to the sounds of cracks growing, fibers breaking and many other modes of active damage in stressed materials.

Acoustic Emission (AE) testing is a powerful method for examining behavior of materials deforming under stress. The Acoustic Emission NDT technique is based on the detection and conversion of high frequency elastic waves into electrical signals. This is accomplished by directly coupling piezoelectric transducers on the surface of the structure under test and loading the structure. Sensors are coupled to the structure, and the output of each sensor (during structure loading) is amplified through a low-noise preamplifier, filtered to remove any extraneous noise and furthered processed by suitable electronic equipment.

Small-scale damage is detectable long before failure, so AE can be used as a non-destructive technique to find defects during structural proof tests and plant operation. AE also offers unique capabilities for materials research and development in the laboratory. Finally, AE equipment is adaptable to many forms of production testing, including weld monitoring and leak detection.

Acoustic Emission Applications

Originally conceived as an NDT tool for pressure vessels, Acoustic Emission testing (AE) has become much wider in scope. We now apply it to all types of process monitoring as well as for its original purposes of flaw detection and structural integrity inspection.

The technology is used to safeguard against catastrophic failures, to assess structural integrity and to enhance safety in a wide range of structures from fiberglass tanks to bucket trucks, from bridges and aircraft to high-pressure gas cylinders. On the process monitoring side, AE is used for a wide range of applications including leak detection, particle impacts, electrical discharges and a variety of friction-type processes, just to name the most common. Other areas of interest include higher-frequency machinery health monitoring and predictive diagnosis.

Visit our Solutions section to learn more about our lineup of products and systems for Acoustic Emission testing.



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