The range of applications for AE is manifold. Nevertheless, acceptance of AE as inspection and testing method was driven by integrity inspection of pressure vessels. Application of AE measurement spread from testing a pressure vessel to corrosion testing of flat bottom storage tanks (above ground storage tanks), leakage testing of pipelines and valves, testing for partial discharge in transformers, and nowadays finds its entrance in structural health monitoring of civil engineering structures.

In the field of research and development, acoustic emission measurement methodology has become a constant factor.