Acoustic Emissions Testing Benefits
AET benefits the user in the following ways:
• Global Monitoring – AET is not geometry sensitive and thus detect AE signals from considerable distances making it an ideal tool for the global monitoring of large structures. Once a problem area is found, it can be verified/inspected using other NDT methods.
• Online testing – This is a big plus when having to do an inspection and the unit to be tested cannot be brought off-line, such as the case with de-aerators etc. For most storage vessels, however, the testing is possible by filling it with product, controlling the temperature or introducing a gas into the vapor space. Depending on the process, other parameters can also be used for a successful test.
• Not overly intrusive – In the case of an insulated vessel, only small holes are required for sensor mounting. On high temperature applications, wave-guides are used to make contact with the vessel surface. The sensors are mounted outside the vessel insulation and temperature is dissipated via the wave-guide.
• Quick turn around – The use of AET gives a vast amount of information in real time and takes only a couple of hours (in some cases even less) to perform. The information gained from such a test can now be utilized to better plan and schedule maintenance, improve integrity of the plant overall and reduce plant maintenance costs considerably.
• Data availability – The data from the test is stored on disk and can be made available to the client with the written report upon request. This provides a permanent record of the test, which can be revisited and reanalyzed at any time in the future. It also gives a good reference for future tests in that they can be compared to one another, making it easy to see if a suspected problem is getting worse or not.
In conclusion–AET can be used on virtually any material as long as the proper studies are done to determine the correct sensor spacing and care is taken to use the right wave velocity for the structure under test. Location of suspected areas can usually be done quite accurately if the above is adhered to, giving you t he ability to do a global test as part of regular maintenance, before or during a shutdown, or even after a shutdown to see if repairs made were successful. AET can also be used as a very helpful tool on newly manufactured vessels, enabling you to get a “fingerprint” of the vessel, which can now be used in subsequent test for correlation as inthe case with service vessels, pipelines, storage tanks, etc.
Acoustic Emission Testing has many successful applications that have assisted our customers in preventing premature equipment failures, unnecessary down time, delays in service and loss of revenue. Should you be interested in AET, or require additional information, or wish to discuss your specific AET needs, please contact our highly qualified representative.