Acoustic emission (AE) is a term used to describe the sound waves produced when a material undergoes stress (internal change), as a result of an external force. AE is a phenomena occur in for instance mechanical loading generating sources of elastic-waves. This occur is the result of a small surface displacement of a material produced due to stress-waves generated when the energy in a material, or on its surface is released rapidly. The wave generated by the source, is of practical interest in methods used to stimulate and capture AE in a controlled fashion, for study and/or use in inspection, quality control, system feedback, process monitoring and others.
Compared to conventional inspection methods the advantages of the Acoustic Emission technique are:
- High sensitivity.
- Early and rapid detection of defects, flaws, cracks etc.
- Real time monitoring
- Cost Reduction
- Defective area location: only critical defects provide sustainable Acoustic Emission sources.
- Minimization of plant downtime for inspection, no need for scanning the whole structural surface.
Minor disturbance of insulation