Evaluation of Acoustic Emission Source Location in Long Steel Pipes for Continuous and Semi-continuous Sources

M. F. Shehadeh*, A. H. Elbatran, Ahmed Mehanna, J. A. Steel, R. L. Reuben

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Acoustic emission (AE) is a commercially-available technique used for structural health monitoring in large structures such as pipeline systems. It is a passive technique that relies on AE and can be generated in continuous and/or burst form (semi-continuous), recorded at one or more sensors with known positions. In truly continuous emission, the source has little or no temporal structure, making it difficult to identify the departure time of a source. In this research, the focus of the analysis was to evaluate distortions of AE continuous and semi-continuous sources in time and frequency domains and to examine how attenuation compares with a discontinuous on long steel pipe. Two different methods have generated artificial, relatively white, sources; continuous AE from a compressed air jet, and semi-continuous signals using a solenoid valve to modulate the air jet. Several arrays have been used to study axial and circumferential propagation, and a combination of time (energy-based) and frequency (time-based) domain processing has been used to develop generic approaches for source location. It is concluded that an energy-based technique combining a digital filter applied to the more heavily attenuated spectral component is more effective in location continuous emission, while semi-continuous signals are more effectively dealt with using cross-correlation applied to a less heavily attenuated spectral component to determine the arrival time of a recognizable time segment. Moreover, it has been observed that the distinction between axial and circumferential propagation of AE is less significant in long pipes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalJournal of Nondestructive Evaluation
Issue number2
Early online date23 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Acoustic emission
  • Attenuation
  • Continuous
  • Cross-correlation
  • Semi-continuous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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