In order to relate the results of a field AE test on a large structure to observations made from small laboratory specimens, acoustic emission (AE) was monitored during a pressurization test on a model vessel containing several kinds of artificial defects and during laboratory tests on small specimens to simulate the defects. The active AE sources in the vessel were concentrated mainly around an artificial weld crack and a sawcut notch. The total number of AE events is compared with displacement, load, crack tip opening displacement, and AE signal amplitude under various test conditions on two types of defects. The significant difference in AE generating mechanism, size of defects, loading parameter and rate between the tests is discussed by the fracture mechanics approach.

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