• Thomas R. Hay, Ph.D., P.E

Acoustic Emission Testing of Spheres

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

Spherical pressure vessels are manufactured in accordance with the American Society for Mechanical Engineering Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (ASME BPVC) and are typically managed under the American Petroleum Institute API-510 Code: In-service Inspection of Pressure Vessels and and ASTM E 1930-02, Standard Test Method for Examination of Liquid-Filled Atmospheric and Low-Pressure Metal Storage Tanks Using Acoustic Emission. In-service testing of spherical pressure vessels using acoustic emission is an economical and technically sound approach to operating the vessel using risk based inspection (RBI) strategies. An example spherical pressure vessel that was tested with acoustic emission is shown below. The sphere was made in accordance with American Society for Mechanical Engineering Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section 8 Division 1. The spherical pressure vessel shell is 23 mm thick and all welds were tested with magnetic particle and radiographic inspection during fabrication and before hydrotesting. Once placed into service, acoustic emission testing of the sphere may be used to screen the weld for active fatigue, corrosion, and erosion based flaws.