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Crack Monitoring Equipment


Lloyd's Register, Airbus (a BAE Systems and EADS joint company) and Ultra Electronics announced that they jointly developed new BALRUE system. A new generation acoustic emission monitoring system, BALRUE is designed for locating and determining the level of activity associated with fatigue cracks, not only in ship structures but also for those in many other industries.

Modern risk management techniques include structural assessment, testing, monitoring and inspection. When defects, such as cracks in metallic structures, are found, there is a need to assess their structural significance and consequent risks. John Carlton who heads up technical investigation work at Lloyd's Register is fully supportive of the new crack monitoring system: "This particular development represents a significant advance in the portfolio of structural and machinery assessment methods, and will be of particular value in condition monitoring activities." Benefits of this crack monitoring include:

  • detection and monitoring of cracks with no prior location knowledge
  • provision of understanding necessary to enable continued operation, without repair, in certain circumstances;
  • provision of information to enable continued operation until an opportune and economic moment for repair, in other circumstances
  • scheduling mandatory repairs on a condition-based criterion, for certain structures.


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