Ono, Kanji Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, California.
Last reviewed:August 2019
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A method of nondestructive testing and materials characterization that uses mechanical waves moving through materials. It is similar to seismology, except in being concerned with the scale of engineering structures, such as aircraft, bridges, and chemical tanks. When a structure is subjected to external force (or stress), a defect (for example, a crack or welding flaw) on the structure is activated and enlarged dynamically, and thus generates waves, which spread through materials at a certain speed. Such waves, known as acoustic emission signals, are detected by sensors attached on the surfaces of the structure. Mechanical vibration due to acoustic emission signals is weak and requires high-sensitivity sensors and electronic amplification before it can be analyzed. See also: Seismology
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