Acoustic Emission of Fiber Reinforced Plastics

by Timothy J. Fowler, (M.ASCE), Sr. Fellow; Monsanto Co., St. Louis, Mo.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Technical Councils of ASCE, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 2, Pg. 281-289

Document Type: Journal Paper


Because most nondestructive test methods are not suitable for use with plastics, and in light of the poor performance record of FRP structures, a practical nondestructive test could be of great value. The paper reports results of a series of tests designed to evaluate the suitability of acoustic emission for testing of FRP structures. In order to characterize FRP, tensile and flexural tests were carried out using various FRP constructions and a range of load levels. In addition, a test of a full-size FRP reactor was undertaken. The tests demonstrate that level of emission, first damage, Kaiser effect, emission during a load hold, amplitude spectrum, and the effect of different frequencies on wave attenuation provide useful information on the structural integrity of FRP. Recommendations for future test work are presented with an assessment of the applicability of acoustic emission for nondestructive testing of FRP structures.

Subject Headings: Nondestructive tests | Load tests | Acoustic techniques | Emissions | Fiber reinforced polymer | Glass reinforced plastics | Ultimate strength | Load factors

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