During the last years, PETROBRAS has used acoustic emission technique as an inspection tool. In this period, the acoustic emission concept has changed from a revolutionary technique to a global inspection technique with the aim of indicating areas to complementary inspection. In the last years more than 600 acoustic emission tests were done in equipments like pressure vessels, reactors, tanks, spheres, and etc. In 2002, the results of acoustic emission tests and nondestructive tests done on these equipment were collected to build a database in the PETROBRAS environment. Analysis made in this database has shown that exists a clear relationship between acoustic emission and the severity of flaws.

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