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What are the Advantages and Limitations?

Acoustic emission has many advantages over other methods. These include:

  • Ability to detect a range of damage mechanisms including, but not limited to, fibre breakages, friction, impacts, cracking, delamination and corrosion in their early stages, before they become significant issues.
  • Can be conducted during operation, during qualification (proof) testing or development testing.
  • Can locate damage sources and can be differentiate these based on acoustic signatures.
  • Global monitoring of a structure.
  • Assesses the structure or machine under real operational conditions.
  • Operational in hazardous environments, including high temperatures, high pressures and corrosive and nuclear environments.
  • Can be conducted remotely.
  • Can detect damages in defects that are difficult to access with conventional non-destructive testing techniques.

However, the method does also have some limitations:

  • Limited to assessing structural integrity or machine health by locating issues, further inspection is usually required to fully diagnose issues.
  • Cannot detect defects that may be present but that do not move or grow.
  • Can be slower than other non-destructive testing techniques.