The difference in density and wave velocity causes distinct wave impedance between air and wood, resulting in complex acoustic emission (AE) signals due to reflection on the wood’s surface. This study explores the suppression of AE signal reflection by modifying the structure of thin wood panels, utilizing the theory of acoustic black holes (ABH). Initially, a one-dimensional ABH structure was created by forming a wedge structure on one side of the specimen. Pencil-lead break (PLB) tests simulated sudden AE sources on the specimen’s surface. AE signals were collected using three equidistant sensors on the upper surface, with a sampling frequency of 2 MHz. The AE signal was then segmented into frequency bands using the differential method and analyzed in both time and frequency domains. Comparisons were made to understand the impact of the one-dimensional ABH on AE signal propagation. Results demonstrated that the one-dimensional ABH effectively suppressed AE signal reflection on the wood’s surface, reducing the high-frequency components by 18.31%, 20.83%, and 12.09% for each sensor, respectively. Furthermore, the experimental cut-off frequency of 0.98 kHz surpassed the theoretically calculated value of 0.39 kHz due to the disparity between the ABH structure’s thickness and the theoretical prediction.
Artificial AE sources were generated on the surfaces of Ulmus pumila, Zelkova schneideriana, Cunninghamia lanceolata, and Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica Litv. specimens. The AE transverse wave signal was decomposed into 3-layers detail signals by wavelet decomposition and reconstructed, and it was calculated based on correlation analysis. Then the longitudinal wave speed was calculated according to the time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) method, and the wood dispersion phenomenon was studied. The results showed that the dispersion phenomenon of Ulmus pumila was obvious. The propagation speed of high-frequency signal was 2.38 times that of low-frequency signal. The ratio of high and low frequency propagation speed of soft wood was 1.72 and 1.73. The dispersion degree of Zelkova schneideriana was the weakest, and the propagation speed of the high frequency was 1.25 times of the low one. The ratios of longitudinal and transverse wave speeds of the four specimens were 4.59, 4.07, 4.24 and 4.2, respectively.