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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 512406, 10 pages
Research Article

Simulation and Experimental Investigation on the AE Tomography to Improve AE Source Location in the Concrete Structure

1School of Mechanical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 211189, China
2School of Science, Nanjing University of Technology, Nanjing 210009, China
3Department of Applied Physics, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain

Received 12 February 2014; Revised 29 April 2014; Accepted 8 May 2014; Published 8 June 2014

Academic Editor: Qingsong Xu

Copyright © 2014 Yu Jiang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Acoustic emission (AE) tomography, which is based on the time-travel tomography with AE events as its signal sources, is a new visualization tool for inspecting and locating the internal damages in the structures. In this paper, AE tomography is applied to examine a man-made damage in a typical heterogeneous concrete structure to validate its effectiveness. Firstly, the finite element (ABAQUS/Explicit) simulation model of the concrete structure with one damaged circle in its center is built, and the simulated AE signals are obtained to establish the AE tomography. The results show that the damaged circle in the created model can be visualized clearly with the AE tomography in its original location. Secondly, the concrete specimen based on the FE model is fabricated, and the pencil lead break (PLB) signal is taken as the exciting source for AE tomography. It is shown that the experimental results have good consistency with the FE simulation results, which also verifies the feasibility of the finite element model for AE tomography. Finally, the damage source location based on AE tomography is compared with the traditional time of arrival (TOA) location method, and the better location accuracy is obtained with the AE tomography. The research results indicate that AE tomography has great potential in the application of structure damage detection.