Standard Active Last Updated: Nov 05, 2020 Track Document
ASTM E2661/E2661M-20e1

Standard Practice for Acoustic Emission Examination of Plate-like and Flat Panel Composite Structures Used in Aerospace Applications

Standard Practice for Acoustic Emission Examination of Plate-like and Flat Panel Composite Structures Used in Aerospace Applications E2661_E2661M-20E01 ASTM|E2661_E2661M-20E01|en-US Standard Practice for Acoustic Emission Examination of Plate-like and Flat Panel Composite Structures Used in Aerospace Applications Standard new BOS Vol. 03.04 Committee E07
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Significance and Use

5.1 This AE examination is useful to detect micro-damage generation, accumulation, and growth of new or existing flaws. The examination is also used to detect significant existing damage from friction-based AE generated during loading or unloading of these regions. The damage mechanisms that can be detected include matrix cracking, fiber splitting, fiber breakage, fiber pull-out, debonding, and delamination. During loading, unloading, and load holding, damage that does not emit AE energy will not be detected.

5.2 When the detected signals from AE sources are sufficiently spaced in time so as not to be classified as continuous AE, this practice is useful to locate the region(s) of the 2-D test sample where these sources originated and the accumulation of these sources with changing load or time, or both.

5.3 The probability of detection of the potential AE sources depends on the nature of the damage mechanisms, flaw characteristics, and other aspects. For additional information, see X1.4.

5.4 Concentrated damage in fiber/polymer composites can lead to premature failure of the composite item. Hence, the use of AE to detect and locate such damage is particularly important.

5.5 AE-detected flaws or damage concentrated in a certain region may be further characterized by other NDE techniques (for example, visual, ultrasonic, etc.) and may be repaired as appropriate. Repair procedure recommendations and the subsequent examination of the repair are outside the scope of this practice. For additional information, see X1.5.

5.6 This practice does not address sandwich core, foam core, or honeycomb core plate-like composites due to the fact that currently there is little in the way of published work on the subject resulting in a lack of a sufficient knowledge base.

5.7 Refer to Guide E2533 for additional information about types of defects detected by AE, general overview of AE as applied to polymer matrix composites, discussion of the Felicity ratio (FR) and Kaiser effect, advantages and limitations, AE of composite parts other than flat panels, and safety hazards.


1.1 This practice covers acoustic emission (AE) examination or monitoring of panel and plate-like composite structures made entirely of fiber/polymer composites.

1.2 The AE examination detects emission sources and locates the region(s) within the composite structure where the emission originated. When properly developed AE-based criteria for the composite item are in place, the AE data can be used for nondestructive examination (NDE), characterization of proof testing, documentation of quality control, or for decisions relative to structural-test termination prior to completion of a planned test. Other NDE methods may be used to provide additional information about located damage regions. For additional information, see X1.1 in Appendix X1.

1.3 This practice can be applied to aerospace composite panels and plate-like elements as a part of incoming inspection, during manufacturing, after assembly, continuously (during structural health monitoring), and at periodic intervals during the life of a structure.

1.4 This practice is meant for fiber orientations that include cross-plies, angle-ply laminates, or two-dimensional woven fabrics. This practice also applies to 3-D reinforcement (for example, stitched, z-pinned) when the fiber content in the third direction is less than 5 % (based on the whole composite).

1.5 This practice is directed toward composite materials that typically contain continuous high modulus greater than 20 GPa [3 Msi] fibers.

1.6 Units—The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system are not necessarily exact equivalents; therefore, to ensure conformance with the standard, each system shall be used independently of the other, and values from the two systems shall not be combined.

1.7 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.8 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 03.04
Developed by Subcommittee: E07.04
Pages: 19
DOI: 10.1520/E2661_E2661M-20E01
ICS Code: 49.025.40