Acoustic Emission (AE) has been widely used to monitor and inspect built-up steel/composite sections; primarily at the glue line. AE testing was conducted on steel-composite (SC) and steel-composite-steel (SCS) built-up sections to determine the glue line failure and damage sustained by the inner layer of the built-up section by putting the sensors on the inner and outer layers of the built-up sections. The straight specimens of steel/composite and steel/composite/steel were tested with load applied to only one steel layer. The AE sensors were placed on the outer steel component so that detected signals traveled through the loaded steel, glue lines, and the composite or the loaded steel component, two glue lines, composite and unloaded steel components of the built-up section(s). The AE signals received by the sensors placed on the loaded steel in tension was compared to signals of sensors placed directly opposite on the unloaded steel or composite to determine the effect the steel/composite and steel/composite/steel built-up sections had on the signal. AE signals were also compared to signals generated during tensile tests of steel specimens only and composite specimens only. AE parameters like amplitude, hits, counts, frequency, cumulative count, and rise time of the AE signals were recorded, analyzed, and compared. AE parameters were also compared to traditional material properties (like yield and failure stress and strain). Tested specimens were examined with a microscope and observations were compared and analyzed relative to AE and material parameters, and reported.

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