Fibre Reinforced Plastic
Fibre Reinforced Plastic, commonly known as FRP, is a non-linear material which has made many processes both possible and safe since the development of this composite. A major problem with FRP structures is that convenience manufacturing often produces a material loaded with defects. In many cases these defects are dormant and do not affect the structure; however, in other structures the presence of manufacturing imperfections can cause catastrophic failure. Acoustic emission techniques are the only method available to realistically test and evaluate the integrity of FRP structures. A problem with a FRP composite is that resin deformation can result in a fast failure mechanism, while a resin/fibre irregularity can propagate material deformation over long distances before some other defect causes and unpredictable failure. The use of FRP in structures such as man-lift platform (cherry-pickers) and for tanks and pipes in the chemical industry has led to significant research on the acoustic emission applications to FRP composites. Metacoustics has been active in FRP research for over 20 years. This research includes FRP pipes and tanks, and also with the acoustic emission evaluation during the development of isotensoid FRP cells which are designed to change their physical shape as the operating conditions change. This unique research has been extended to develop acoustic emission monitoring and analysis techniques for use on hot FRP structure.