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4. Reduction to Practice New Technology

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The general trend in acoustic emission (AE) monitoring systems has been one of increasing complexity. This is particularly true in systems for continuous monitoring which are usually multichannel (perhaps 20 to 40) and incorporate a dedicated minicomputer. A unique concept which reverses this trend for selected applications has been developed at Battelle-Northwest, Richland, WA. This concept uses nonvolatile, postage stamp sized solid state digital memories to store acquired data in a permanent form which is easily retrieved. After data has been extracted the memories can be erased and reused. It also uses a fundamental method to accept AE data only from a selected area. The digital memory system which can be cattery operated is designed for short term or long term (months) continuous, unattended monitoring. It has been successfully applied in laboratory testing such as fatigue crack growth studies, as well as field monitoring on bridges and piping to detect crack growth. The features of simplicity, compactness, versatility, and low cost contribute to expanded practical application of acoustic emission technology.



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5 p.