Acoustic Emission (AE) supplies information on the fracturing behavior of different materials. In this study, AE activity was recorded during fatigue experiments in metal CT specimens with a V-shape notch which were loaded in fatigue until final failure. AE parameters exhibit a sharp increase approximately 1000 cycles before than final failure. Therefore, the use of acoustic emission parameters is discussed both in terms of characterization of the damage mechanisms, as well as a tool for the prediction of ultimate life of the material under fatigue. Additionally, an innovative nondestructive methodology based on lock-in thermography is developed to determine the crack growth rate using thermographic mapping of the material undergoing fatigue. The thermographic results on the crack growth rate of aluminium alloys were then correlated with measurements obtained by the conventional compliance method, and found to be in agreement.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.