The integration of CMCs into safety critical applications, such as turbine engines and aerospace structures, necessitates a sound understanding of their expected damage evolution under in-service conditions and real-time health-monitoring methods to assess their damage state. The measurement of acoustic emissions (AEs), the transient elastic waves emitted during damage formation, offers an enhanced capability for evaluating damage evolution and structural health in CMCs due to its high sensitivity, accurate temporal resolution, and relative ease of use compared to other non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques. Recent advances in numerical simulations methods and data-driven model development, in combination with improved multimodal experimental characterization methods and sensor hardware, are rapidly advancing AE to a mature technique for damage quantification. This review discusses the fundamental principles of acoustic emissions, provides practical guidelines on their experimental characterization and analysis, and offers perspectives on the current state-of-the-art.

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