ASTM E1139 / E1139M - 12

    Standard Practice for Continuous Monitoring of Acoustic Emission from Metal Pressure Boundaries

    Active Standard ASTM E1139 / E1139M | Developed by Subcommittee: E07.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.03


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    Significance and Use

    Acoustic emission examination of a structure requires application of a mechanical or thermal stimulus. In this case, the system operating conditions provide the stimulation. During operation of the pressurized system, AE from active discontinuities such as cracks or from other acoustic sources such as leakage of high-pressure, high-temperature fluids can be detected by an instrumentation system using sensors mounted on the structure. The sensors are acoustically coupled to the surface of the structure by means of a couplant material or pressure on the interface between the sensing device and the structure. This facilitates the transmission of acoustic energy to the sensor. When the sensors are excited by acoustic emission energy, they transform the mechanical excitations into electrical signals. The signals from a detected AE source are electronically conditioned and processed to produce information relative to source location and other parameters needed for AE source characterization and evaluation.

    AE monitoring on a continuous basis is a currently available method for continuous surveillance of a structure to assess its continued integrity. The use of AE monitoring in this context is to identify the existence and location of AE sources. Also, information is provided to facilitate estimating the significance of the detected AE source relative to continued pressure system operation.

    Source location accuracy is influenced by factors that affect elastic wave propagation, by sensor coupling, and by signal processor settings.

    It is possible to measure AE and identify AE source locations of indications that cannot be detected by other NDT methods, due to factors related to methodological, material, or structural characteristics.

    In addition to immediate evaluation of the AE sources, a permanent record of the total data collected (AE plus pressure system parameters measured) provides an archival record which can be re-evaluated.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice provides guidelines for continuous monitoring of acoustic emission (AE) from metal pressure boundaries in industrial systems during operation. Examples are pressure vessels, piping, and other system components which serve to contain system pressure. Pressure boundaries other than metal, such as composites, are specifically not covered by this document.

    1.2 The functions of AE monitoring are to detect, locate, and characterize AE sources to provide data to evaluate their significance relative to pressure boundary integrity. These sources are those activated during system operation, that is, no special stimulus is applied to produce AE. Other methods of nondestructive testing (NDT) may be used, when the pressure boundary is accessible, to further evaluate or substantiate the significance of detected AE sources.

    1.3 UnitsThe values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standards.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific precautionary statements, see Section 6.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E543 Specification for Agencies Performing Nondestructive Testing

    E569 Practice for Acoustic Emission Monitoring of Structures During Controlled Stimulation

    E650 Guide for Mounting Piezoelectric Acoustic Emission Sensors

    E750 Practice for Characterizing Acoustic Emission Instrumentation

    E976 Guide for Determining the Reproducibility of Acoustic Emission Sensor Response

    E1316 Terminology for Nondestructive Examinations

    E2374 Guide for Acoustic Emission System Performance Verification

    Aerospace Industries Association

    NAS-410 Certification and Qualification of Nondestructive Testing Personnel

    Other Documents

    ANSI/ASNTCP-189 ASNT Standard for Qualification and Certification of Nondestructive Testing Personnel


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.140.01 (Acoustic measurements and noise abatement in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 73121614(Non destructive testing service)


    DOI: 10.1520/E1139_E1139M-12

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