Wilmington, MA - High-brightness direct-diode laser technology developer TeraDiode has begun shipping its multikilowatt, high-brightness TeraBlade lasers to major machine tool and automotive welding manufacturers in Europe and Japan. The shipments usher in the third generation of metal cutting and welding industrial lasers, opening applications that were cost-prohibitive for previous generations.
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The TeraBlade platform pairs semiconductor diode laser array chips and wavelength beam combination (WBC), an MIT-patented technology that enables the combination of energy from thousands of individual emitters into a single laser beam while preserving the beam quality needed for cutting and welding applications. WBC also preserves the wall-plug efficiency of direct-diode lasers while delivering the high brightness previously achieved only by lasers requiring more complicated gain/feedback architectures. The TeraBlade lasers shipped with wall-plug efficiencies of 40%, far surpassing first-generation CO2 and lamp-pumped rod lasers that are approximately just 10% efficient, as well as second-generation diode-pumped disk and fiber lasers that are roughly just three times more efficient than their predecessors.
4kW is currently the highest power available in the product line, based on 600W TeraBlade modules. The TeraBlade-4000 has a center wavelength of 970nm and a 100µm delivery fiber; versions are available with beam parameter products of under 4mm-mrad for cutting and under 6mm-mrad for remote welding.
|TeraDiode's TeraBlade multikilowatt, high-brightness direct-diode laser.|
Thinking ahead, Dr. Parviz Tayebati, TeraDiode's CEO, says that the company plans to double power and improve beam quality and efficiency while minimally changing the TeraBlade platform, and plans to repeat these advances again the following year. "We will also introduce new wavelengths and introduce innovations in beam manipulation and system design to enable our customers to further differentiate their products," he adds.
Innovations for doubling power, with improved beam quality and efficiency, are being incorporated into the 1.3kW TeraBlade module, enabling the platform to scale up to 10kW and serve a wide range of applications in the cutting and welding markets. Lasers with these characteristics will be introduced in the coming quarters for the company.
The first use of TeraBlade multikilowatt direct-diode lasers for remote welding will be unveiled at the Japan International Welding Show (JIWS; April 23-26, 2014, in Tokyo, Japan) by Panasonic Welding Systems Co., Ltd. (Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan) in their Laser Processing Robot Integrated System Solution (LAPRISS). A 4kW TeraBlade-4000 laser system will be on display at Booth A-23 of TeraDiode’s representative Feira, Co. Ltd.