Date of Award

Summer 2022

Project Type


Program or Major

Mechanical engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Brad Kinsey

Second Advisor

Jinjin Ha

Third Advisor

Madhav Baral


There is extensive evidence in the literature that plastic deformation of metals is associated with an increase in Acoustic Emission (AE) activity. Thus, AE measurement techniques have the potential to monitor a forming process in real time and provide a signal for feedback control, to exploit optimum formability. In this work, custom-made AE sensors employing piezoelectric crystals are implemented to measure the emitted acoustic signal during uniaxial tension and cup drawing tests of an AA6013-T4 aluminum sheet (1.5 mm thick). The uniaxial tension tests are conducted with two AE sensors clamped to each end of the specimen gage section, along with full-field surface strain measurement using Digital Image Correlation (DIC) techniques. The AE signals along with the interrogation of the DIC images reveal that the maximum AE amplitude corresponds to the onset of diffuse necking, i.e., when the strain field starts to become spatially inhomogeneous. Interestingly, this onset occurs before the maximum force is attained. Comparing these observations to a model of dislocation activity supports the notion that dislocation is the main driver of AE activity. With these findings, AE measurements are performed in a cup drawing process where a custom-made Marciniak-type punch incorporates three AE sensors. These sensors are used to triangulate and determine the location of necking and eminent fracture based on the time difference of arriving signals to each sensor. The results from the cup drawing tests show that AE signals can identify the onset of necking and accurately predict the location of necking and fracture.