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Monitoring Fatigue Damage Progression in Spot Welds with Acoustic Emission Sensors

A feasibility study was carried out on the use of acoustic emission sensors to monitor fatigue damage progression in resistance spot welded joints under tensile loading. A single joint, spot welded, galvanized steel specimen was subjected to a cyclic load on a hydraulic test frame. The accompanying high frequency energy released during fatigue damage progression was acquired by acoustic emission sensors (with center frequencies of 150 or 500 kHz) mounted on the specimen. A high speed data acquisition system recorded the data. Recorded signals from several series of tests were analyzed using a variety of techniques, the most informative of which were the peak amplitude counts and envelope spectra. Preliminary results showed that acoustic emission sensing shows promise for the monitoring of fatigue failure progression in spot welds under tensile loading.

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