Acoustic Emission Testing

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Authors: Antolino Gallego, Jose F. Gil, J.M. Vico, Enrique Díaz Barriga-Castro, J.E. Ruzzante, Rosa Piotrkowski
Abstract: Wavelet analysis and bispectrum was applied to Acoustic Emission (AE) signals from scratch tests on corroded hot-dip galvanized samples in order to achieve the detection of corrosion products in pieces non reachable by visual inspection. AE signals were correlated with the fracture mechanisms occurring during scratch tests, while the contact force increased. Results were corroborated by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD).
Authors: Pete T. Theobald, F. Dar
Abstract: This paper proposes a method for both the out-of-plane and in-plane displacement sensitivity calibration of an acoustic emission (AE) sensor. In the method, a laser homodyne interferometer is used to measure the out-of-plane and in-plane displacement of the surface of a large test block excited by a repeatable source transducer. The out-of-plane displacement is measured by aligning the laser beam perpendicular to the surface with time gating of the receive waveform used to isolate only the direct arrival of the longitudinal wave produced by the piston source transducer. For the in-plane displacement measurement, the laser beam is aligned parallel to the surface to intersect a small optically reflective step with the time waveform being gated to measure only the direct shear arrival produced using a normal incidence shear wave source transducer. In each case, the interferometer measurement is followed by coupling the sensor under test to the measurement surface, which is then exposed to the same acoustic field and the sensor output signal measured. This substitution method allows the sensor sensitivity to be obtained in terms of volts per unit displacement for both the out-of-plane and in-plane surface displacement. The method allows a comprehensive description of an AE sensor response to different planes of displacement and offers the potential for a traceable sensor calibration to units of length.
Authors: Rong Sheng Chen, J.M. Burns, Timothy P. Bradshaw, P.T. Cole, P. Jarman, R. Theobald, D. Pedder, G.F. Fernando
Abstract: A novel fibre optic sensor system has been developed for detection of acoustic emission. The sensor design was based on a 2×2 fused tapered optical fibre coupler configuration. Given the intended use of this sensor for the detection of acoustic emission in smart materials and structures, its lightweight, compatibility with composite material and immunity from electromagnetic interference are great advantages. Apart from the performance specification and reliability, the overall cost of the sensor system is a major factor in their adoption by end-users. The manufacturing of this sensor is low-cost and the signal output from the sensor system developed can be directly fed to the commercial AE acquisition system. The demonstration of acoustic emission detection was conducted using fibre coupler-based AE sensors in different materials and structures. The AE sources are various and depend on the different applications. In the current paper, we report on the use of the fibre optic AE sensor system for concrete damage monitoring. An experiment on damage detection on a composite plate with this fibre optical AE sensor is also reported in the paper.
Authors: Jan Zizka, Petr Hana, L. Hamplova, Z. Motycka
Abstract: Development of modern society is converging to a status where many human actions can be performed by machines. To achieve production without human intervention, machines require artificial receptors. Data gathering for processing and analysis of signals, together with determination of feedback reactions can be achieved by a suitable decision maker unit. A sensed value suited to this so-called intelligent sensing process would be the acoustic emission signal. In the case of intelligent cutting tools this would require miniature highly sensitive sensors integrated into the cutting tool body. Part I of this paper deals with the possibility of practical usage of the piezoelectric properties of copolymer foils for the acoustic emission sensor as a transducer of a mechanical surface wave into electrical signal. Part II of the paper deals with the most fundamental requirement for monitoring of cutting conditions during machining, i.e. excellent processing of measured data. Data obtained from machining process obtained by means of acoustic emission sensors, as discussed in the first part of this article, have high-frequency and continuous character of a white noise. These data are very difficult to process. New apparatus for transformation of acoustic emission into audible sound in the workplace is presented. The first stage of processing is by listening to transformed data it is subjectively possible to recognize differences in audible spectrum, corresponding to different states of the cutting tool. The second step is visualization of the differences via the fast Fourier transform (FFT) in the spectrum graphic chart.
Authors: Hiroaki Noma, E. Ushijima, Y. Ooishi, Morito Akiyama, N. Miyoshi, K. Kishi, Tatsuo Tabaru, I. Ohshima, A. Kakami, T. Kamohara
Abstract: Aluminum nitride (AlN) is a promising Acoustic Emission (AE) sensor element for high-temperature environments such as gas turbines and other plants because AlN maintains its piezoelectricity up to 1200°C. Highly c-axis-oriented AlN thin-film sensor elements were prepared on silicon single crystals by rf magnetron sputtering. Both ordinary-temperature AE sensors and high-temperature AE sensors have been developed using these elements. In this paper, to study effects of d33 and thickness of AlN elements on sensor sensitivity, AlN elements with d33 from 2 to 7 pm/V and thickness from 3 to 9 /m were prepared. It is confirmed that the AE sensor sensitivity increased with d33 and thickness of AlN elements. The sensitivity of the high-temperature AE sensor was also improved by a design of the sensor structure. The sensor characteristics were evaluated at elevated temperatures from 200 to 600°C. It was confirmed that the AE sensor works well at 600°C and does not deteriorate.
Authors: James J. Hensman, C.V. Cristodaro, Gareth Pierce, Keith Worden
Abstract: An acoustic emission test was simulated using a three point bend specimen and an artificial AE source. Waveform data was recorded as the sample was cyclically loaded in three point bending, and the cross correlation coefficient of the waveforms was used to measure the repeatability of the test. Results were twofold: the stress state of a specimen affects the ultrasonic propagation therein; and the coupling condition of a transducer may not remain constant during a test.
Authors: Gerold Lackner, Peter Tscheliesnig
Abstract: Acoustic emission testing (AT) is in Europe an already well established non-destructive testing (NDT) method. Qualification requirements as well as certification of testing personnel are laid down in European standard EN 473. A widespread application of AT deals with testing of unfired pressure vessels for re-qualification after a certain period of service (repetition test). The advantages of applying AT compared to the traditional procedure of hydrostatic test plus visual inside inspection are numerous. Just to name the most important: reduction of downtime, omitting of residual humidity and no risk of product contamination with water. It is a fact that AT provides much more useful information concerning the condition of the pressure vessel under test than a simple ‘passed’ or ‘not passed’ obtained usually by a hydrostatic test. This contribution gives two examples of practical experience, where severe corrosion defects have been detected by AT. The defects have been found in both cases on the vessel’s shell under the thermal insulation, where they have been hidden undetected for years. It can be assumed that even the vessel with the most severe damage (loss of more than 50% of the nominal wall thickness) would have passed the traditional repetition test procedure and that failure within the following service period would have occurred. In contrary to this scenario, AT enabled the vessel operator to perform appropriate repair in time.
Authors: B.S. Kabanov, Victor P. Gomera, V.L. Sokolov, V.P. Fedorov, A.A. Okhotnikov
Abstract: The main obstacle which prevents the rapid spread of Acoustic Emission (AE) testing on refinery structures in Russia is the complexity of this NDT tool. The lack of well- defined methods of data analysis and the huge amount of AE data collected within each test are the major problems. The possibility of mistakes in a period of testing and data analysis leading to erroneous conclusions related to the condition of the structure sometimes negatively affects the image of the AE method. However, the correct application of AE can bring unique opportunities in the inspection of structures in the industry. Some examples of successful applications and the unique possibilities of AE testing are presented in this paper.
Authors: Václav Svoboda, F. Žemlička, M. Brumovský
Abstract: Contribution contains an application of acoustic emission method during instability and growth of fatigue crack in reactor pressure vessel specimen loaded by means of bending. Material of specimen was typical material of pressure water reactor vessel covered by austenitic cladding as a protection layer against corrosion. Specimen had shape of prism with defect in the middle where fatigue crack was created very close to austenitic cladding. Loading of specimen was done in special loading machine with defined speed of loading resp. increased force. Investigation of instability and propagation of inertial crack was observed by acoustic emission technique, potential drop method, by using of straingauges and by high-speed camera. Acoustic emission sensors were located from both sides of specimen. By this experimental technique was possible to observe "pop-in" of crack during loading. Different types of specimen with different mode of aging were investigated. Results of acoustic emission activity are described graphical curves in relation to individual stages of loading.
Authors: Franz Rauscher
Abstract: It is known that the basic mechanism of fatigue crack growth in ductile pressure vessel steels, which is repetitive blunting and re-sharpening of the crack tip, is a weak acoustic emission (AE) source. On the other hand, a large number of AE events occur during cyclic crack growth. Most AE events are caused by repetitive friction at the fracture surfaces, but these AE events show relatively weak correlation with the crack growth velocity. In the paper it is shown, based on examples – fatigue crack growth starting from an artificial weld defect, cycling of a natural crack defect, crack initiation and growth in gas cylinders - which information can be gained by relatively simple analyses of the AE data from cyclic pressure tests.

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