General overview

Acoustic Emission (AE) refers to the generation of transient elastic waves during the rapid release of energy from localised sources within a material, for example AE emitted during fracture growth in a rock sample during uniaxial or triaxial testing. AE sensors coupled to the surface of a rock sample under test, detect these waves which are converted into electrical signals and subsequently signal conditioned (amplified and filtered) prior to being sampled by the data acquisition system.  The acquired data are then analysed (in real-time or offline) using the seismic data processing software.

Analysis of acoustic emission (AE) and ultrasonic data allows scientists and engineers to monitor the patterns and mechanics of fracture growth during laboratory testing. Laboratory testing using Itasca Consulting Ltd’s (ICL) hardware and software solutions enables researchers and engineers to:

  • Record and process acoustic emission and 3D ultrasonic data from fracture and deformation experiments;
  • Investigate patterns and mechanics of fracture growth;
  • Integrated interpretation of rock fracture and deformation using the InSite-Lab seismic processing software and ITASCA’s geomechanical and numerical modelling codes;
  • Record and process continuous ultrasonic data streams for entire fracture history.

The primary applications for ICL’s AE hardware include both unconfined and confined (triaxial and true-triaxial) rock deformation laboratory experiments. The instrumentation has also been used in underground rock characterisation facilities (for research into Radwaste storage) to perform Excavation Damage Zone (EDZ) tomography studies and for Acoustic Emission (AE) and ultrasonic monitoring during rock spalling experiments.

ICL laboratory systems are being used to perform rock and concrete testing research in leading Universities and institutions worldwide.