• Thomas R. Hay, Ph.D., P.E

Acoustic Emission Testing of Pressure Vessel, Pipelines, and Aboveground Storage Tanks

Acoustic emission testing is a proven advanced non-destructive testing method for to assess the condition of steel pressure vessels, pipelines and above ground storage tanks. Acoustic emission technology was first developed and commercialized for steel load bearing structures but now is a viable testing method for fiber reinforced composite pressure vessels (FRPs), pipelines, and storage tanks. This article reviews some of the key principles associated with the acoustic emission testing in American Petroleum Institute API-510 In-service Inspection of Pressure Vessels, API-570 In-service Inspection of Pipelines, and API-653 In-service Inspection of Aboveground Storage tanks.


Acoustic Emission Testing of Steel and Fiberglass Pressure Vessels


Acoustic emission testing is used to evaluate newly fabricated steel and fiberglass pressure vessels to American Society for Mechanical Engineering (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) and during the fabrication of fiberglass pressure vessels to ASME RTP-1. In-service acoustic emission testing may be used to support American Petroleum Institute In-service Pressure Vessel Inspection code (API-570) Failure mechanisms in steel pressure vessels detected by acoustic emission include fatigue cracks, corrosion fatigue cracks, stress corrosion cracking and other deterioration mechanisms. A typica