Acoustic Emission Monitoring

AE Monitoring Helps Determine:

damage is occurring


damage is occurring


damage is occurring


of damage

Providing effective Acoustic Emission (AE) monitoring solutions is one of MISTRAS Group's greatest assets. Experience since 1978 makes MISTRAS the pioneer and leader in this field.

Unlike physical measurements such as displacement and strain, AE is unique in that it detects and locates active material damage in real-time, often at the microstructure level, so the results can be used to directly assess the effect of loading and ageing on structural degradation. The use of AE coupled with physical monitoring allows the correlation of structural loading with any resulting damage (either directly or indirectly). This improves the understanding of any causes of degradation, or confirms the structure is continuing to perform under service loading without significant damage development. In some cases, a change to process parameters or loading resulting from the improved understanding prevents future damage development, with a result that asset life is extended and safety is improved.

AE sensors attached to the structure and monitored by a local AE system record the relevant transient elastic waves released by structures during stressing materials. The nature of this stressing and the appropriate monitoring envelope is interdependent. Monitoring requires sufficient time or loading cycles to allow for confident identification of damage or longer periods/repeat testing needed to establish rate of change or deterioration.

The results of AE monitoring determine:

  • If damage is occurring in the structure; this may be many metres away from the nearest AE sensor
  • Where the damage is occurring, even internally, under paint or dirt
  • When the damage is occurring and, through correlation with other parameters, the possible reason why
  • The nature of damage and an indication of stage or severity

Whilst not used to size defects, AE is sensitive to growing flaws in any orientation, and can be used to identify damage at early stage, giving advanced notice of developing problems.

MISTRAS has extensive experience in the application of Acoustic Emission (AE) monitoring to:

  • Metal structures (crack and fatigue detection and monitoring in pressure vessels, bridges, offshore platforms, cranes, aerospace, cables)
  • Concrete (cracking in beams, slabs, box girders, half joints and hinge joints)
  • Masonry and rock
  • Composites including FRP and CFRP
  • Slow moving bearings
  • Rubber
  • Timber

We provide certified and trained (AE) engineers to ASNT TC1A and/or BINDT PCN (including CCNSG, CSCS, IRATA, confined space training City and Guilds 6150-02, offshore certified UK and Norwegian Sector).