Skip to main content

Detecting thermal crack growth on a large additive manufactured structure using acoustic emission...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
Proceedings of SPIE
Publication Date
Page Numbers
47 to 55
Conference Name
SPIE - Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring
Conference Location
Long Beach, California, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

Large format additive manufacturing (LFAM) proved to have a great potential to become an adjacent technology to traditional manufacturing methods. One of the sectors LFAM is targeting is rapid tool/mold development for composites. This includes large mold structures used for high-temperature molding techniques (in-oven or autoclave). Although, these large printed structures (reaching hundreds of pounds) develop thermal-residual stress during cool-down and can eventually crack, turning the structure into waste. Acoustic emission (AE), a passive non-intrusive global nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technique, was used to monitor crack growth and can provide the right tools that can be used for feedback loop for corrective action. This research performs thermal testing on a large AM mold with preexisting cracks, in an attempt to monitor crack growth using AE. AE was able to detect, identify and locate the crack source by means of acoustic features, waveform characteristics, spectrum analysis, and difference in arrival times.