A Practical Technique for Quantifying the Performance of AE Systems on Plate-like Structures

JJ Scholey, PD Wilcox, MR Wisnom & MI Friswell (University of Bristol)

Ultrasonics, Vol. 49, No. 6-7, June 2009, pp. 538-548


A model for quantifying the performance of acoustic emission (AE) systems on plate-like structures is presented. Employing a linear transfer function approach the model is applicable to both isotropic and anisotropic materials.

The model requires several inputs including source waveforms, phase velocity and attenuation. It is recognised that these variables may not be readily available, thus efficient measurement techniques are presented for obtaining phase velocity and attenuation in a form that can be exploited directly in the model. Inspired by previously documented methods, the application of these techniques is examined and some important implications for propagation characterisation in plates are discussed. Example measurements are made on isotropic and anisotropic plates and, where possible, comparisons with numerical solutions are made.

By inputting experimentally obtained data into the model, quantitative system metrics are examined for different threshold values and sensor locations. By producing plots describing areas of hit success and source location error, the ability to measure the performance of different AE system configurations is demonstrated. This quantitative approach will help to place AE testing on a more solid foundation, underpinning its use in industrial AE applications.

Paper Availability

This material has been published in the Ultrasonics, Vol. 49, No. 6-7, June 2009, pp. 538-548. Unfortunately the copyright agreement with Elsevier does not allow for the PDF file of the paper to be available on this website.

Link to paper using doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2009.02.001

Ultrasonics website