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IPG Installs First 17-kW Fiber Laser
Apr 2005
BREMEN, Germany, April 13 -- IPG Laser GmbH installed what it says is the world's first 17-W fiber laser last month at the opening of the Test Center for Aluminum Alloy Welding (Centr-Al) at BIAS GmbH (Bremer Institut fuer angewandte Strahltechnik), a research and development institute in Bremen, Germany.

The test center will use the YLR-17000 fiber laser for deep penetration and high-speed welding of materials for pipeline, aircraft, aerospace, transportation, shipbuilding and automotive applications.

IPG Laser said the 17-kW fiber laser has a beam parameter product of 11 mm x mrad delivered through a 30-meter fiber with a diameter of 200 µm. In over 200 continuous hours of operation, the fiber and welding head for this new class of fiber laser showed very low losses, the company said.

"As with IPG's other monolithic solid state lasers, all of the other components of the YLR-17000 are proving to be robust in trials," it said in a statement.

Frank Vollertsen, director of BIAS, said, "Fiber delivery of 17 kW of laser output power out of a transportable laser power source makes many new applications possible in many industries. The cost of laser ownership will be reduced dramatically, because this laser has wall plug-efficiency of approximately 30 percent, a dramatic improvement over other lasers."

IPG Photonics is based in Oxford, Mass., with manufacturing facilities and sales operations there and in Germany, Russia, Italy, Japan, India, Korea and the UK.

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fiber laser
A laser in which the lasing medium is an optical fiber doped with low levels of rare-earth halides to make it capable of amplifying light. Output is tunable over a broad range and can be broadband. Laser diodes can be used for pumping because of the fiber laser's low threshold power, eliminating the need for cooling.
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