Acoustic emission (AE) testing is a widely used nondestructive testing (NDT) method to investigate material failure. When environmental conditions are harmful for the operation of the sensors, waveguides are typically mounted in between the inspected structure and the sensor. Such waveguides can be built from different materials or have different designs in accordance with the experimental needs. All these variations can cause changes in the acoustic emission signals in terms of modal conversion, additional attenuation or shift in frequency content. A finite element method (FEM) was used to model acoustic emission signal propagation in an aluminum plate with an attached waveguide and was validated against experimental data. The geometry of the waveguide is systematically changed by varying the radius and height to investigate the influence on the detected signals. Different waveguide materials were implemented and change of material properties as function of temperature were taken into account. Development of the option of modeling different waveguide options replaces the time consuming and expensive trial and error alternative of experiments. Thus, the aim of this research has important implications for those who use waveguides for AE testing.
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