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Advanced acoustic emission source location in aircraft structural testing

Grigg, Stephen, Featherston, Carol ORCID:, Pearson, Matthew ORCID: and Pullin, Rhys ORCID: 2021. Advanced acoustic emission source location in aircraft structural testing. Presented at: 10th EASN Virtual Conference on Innovation in Aviation & Space to the Satisfaction of the European Citizens (EASN 2020), Virtual (Salerno, Italy), 2-5 September 2020. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. , vol.1024 IOP Publishing: Conference Series / IOP Publishing, 012029. 10.1088/1757-899X/1024/1/012029

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Acoustic emission (AE) is an in situ Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) technique, where a structure is monitored for the ultrasonic waves produced due to crack growth. A major challenge with AE when applied to aircraft, and other complex structures, is that wave propagation is significantly affected by stiffeners, holes, thickness changes and other complexity. This reduces the accuracy of traditional source location techniques, that are based on a singular propagating wave speed. The Delta-T method enables higher levels of accuracy by mapping the structure and accounting for these changes. In this work AE monitoring equipment was installed on a section of an aluminium Airbus A320 wing. Location trials showed the Delta-T technique improved the average error from 85mm to 23mm, for artificial Hsu-Nielson sources, compared to the commercial standard technique. Testing under fatigue however demonstrated the challenges encountered when inspecting 3D structures (due to multiple signal paths) with significant levels of background noise. Of two cracks identified in the structure, the first of these was successfully detected and located, whilst the other was missed due to high machine noise and unrepresentative loading.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: IOP Publishing: Conference Series / IOP Publishing
ISSN: 1757-8981
Funders: Innovate UK, Airbus Endeavr
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 29 October 2020
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2022 13:18

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