In this study is proposed a procedure for damage discrimination based on acoustic emission signals clustering using artificial neural networks. An unsupervised methodology based on the self-organizing maps of Kohonen is developed considering the lack of a priori knowledge of the different signal classes. The methodology is described and applied to a cross-ply glassfibre/ polyester laminate submitted to a tensile test. In this case, six different AE waveforms were identified. The damage sequence could so be identified from the modal nature of those waves.