Identify Structural Defect Geometric Features from Acoustic Emission Waveforms


Reference #: 01199

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a technology that identifies structural defect geometric features from acoustic emission waveforms.



Acoustic emissions (AE) waves are generated by a sudden redistribution of stress in a material or structure. AE techniques have many industrial applications, such as assessing structural integrity, detecting flaws, testing for leaks, or monitoring weld quality, and is used extensively as a research tool. In this work, a system/method was developed for detecting acoustic emissions wave signals and analyzing them for cracks characterization.


Invention Description:

Fatigue crack generated acoustic emission waves are characterized by analytical simulation, numerical simulation, and experiments. Acoustic emission waves are created by internal and external excitation sources. A library of features in the acoustic emission waveforms is identified to be linked to crack geometric features. The acoustic emission signals received from a growing crack are processed with our methodology to yield information about the crack length and other geometric properties.


Potential Applications:

1.       Can be used for nondestructive evaluation (NDE), and structural health monitoring (SHM) applications.

2.       Provides a novel methodology to indicate early signs of fatigue cracks.


Advantages and Benefits:

1.       The signal processing method developed in this methodology extracts crack geometric features, such as crack length and orientation, during normal operation conditions from the received AE waveforms without the need for additional NDE methods applied during offline maintenance.

2.       Using this method, the crack can be evaluated as soon as the crack is formed. In comparison, conventional AE signal analysis methods are based on the statistical characteristics of AE hit event parameters, and can only provide qualitative estimation of the crack severity after several crack growth events have already occurred.

3.       This invention can improve the safety and the availability of critical vehicles and infrastructures, and reduce the maintenance cost.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Victor Giurgiutiu
Jingjing (jack) Bao
Banibrata Poddar
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