Acoustic Emission Testing

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ACOUSTIC EMISSIONS are stress waves produced by sudden movement in stressed materials. The classic sources of acoustic emissions are defect-related deformation processes such as crack growth and plastic deformation. Sudden movement at the source produces a stress wave, which radiates out into the structure and excites a sensitive piezoelectric transducer. As the stress in the material is raised, many of these emissions are generated. The signals from one or more sensors are amplified and measured to produce data for display and interpretation.

Codes and Standards


  • ASME Boiler and Pressure Vesell Code, Section V, Article 11: "Acoustic emission examination of Fiber-Reinforced Plastic Vessels"
  • ASME Boiler and Pressure Vesell Code, Section V, Article 12: "Acoustic emission examination of Metallic Vessels during Pressure Testing"

ASTM International

  • ASTM E650: "Standard guide for mounting piezoelectric acoustic emission sensors" (1997/2007)
  • ASTM E679: "Standard guide for determining the reproducibility of acoustic emission sensor response" (2004/2011)
  • ASTM E1211: "Standard practice for leak detection and location using surface-mounted acoustic emission sensors" (2007)
  • ASTM E1419: "Standard test method for examination of seamless, gas-filled pressure vessels using acoustic emission" (2009)

ISO standards

  • EN ISO 16148: "Gas cylinders. Refillable seamless gas cylinders. Acoustic emission testing (AT) for periodic inspection", 2006
  • ISO 18436-6: "Condition monitoring and diagnostics of machines. Requirements for qualification and assessment of personnel. Acoustic emission", 2008
  • ISO 22096: "Condition monitoring and diagnostics of machines. Acoustic emission", 2007
  • CEN ISO/TR 13115: "Non-destructive testing. Methods for absolute calibration of acoustic emission transducers by the reciprocity technique", 2011

CEN standards

  • EN 1330-9: "Non-destructive testing. Terminology. Terms used in acoustic emission testing", 2009
  • EN 13477-1: "Non-destructive testing. Acoustic emission. Equipment characterization. Equipment description", 2001
  • EN 13477-2: "Non-destructive testing. Acoustic emission. Equipment characterisation. Verification of operating characteristic", 2010
  • EN 14584:"Non-destructive testing. Acoustic emission. Examination of metallic pressure equipment during proof testing. Planar location of AE sources", 2005
  • EN 15495: "Non-destructive testing. Acoustic emission. Examination of metallic pressure equipment during proof testing. Zone location of AE sources", 2007
  • EN 13554: "Non-destructive testing. Acoustic emission testing. General principles", 2011
  • EN 15856: "Non-destructive testing. Acoustic emission. General principles of AE testing for the detection of corrosion within metallic surrounding filled with liquid", 2010
  • EN 15857: "Non-destructive testing. Acoustic emission. Testing of fibre-reinforced polymers. Specific methodology and general evaluation criteria", 2010

Related Pages


  1. Sotirios J. Vahaviolos: "Acoustic Emission: Standards and Technology Update", ASTM International (publishing), STP-1353, ISBN 0-8031-2498-8 (1999)
  2. Christian U. Grosse (ed) & Masayasu Ohtsu (ed): "Acoustic Emission Testing", Springer Verlag, ISBN 978-3642089374 (2008)
  3. Cole, P. T.: "The Capabilities and Limitations of NDT Part 7. Acoustic Emission (INST087)", The British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing, ISBN 0-903-132-087 (1988)