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DIODE LASERS


Transforming the façade of Customs House in Sydney into a series of ‘musical sculptures’ as part of the Vivid Sydney event


THE DIRECT DIODE APPROACH


Tom Eddershaw finds that high-power diode lasers are now available for industrial applications, while their lower-power equivalents are used to great effect in outdoor light shows


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etween 23 May and 9 June, one of the world’s largest light displays, Vivid Sydney 2014 not only lit up the Australian city, it also illustrated the


importance of highly efficient, low-power diode lasers to the entertainment industry. A vibrant mix of colour and art filled the city making use of a diverse range of lighting techniques but with the staple of diode technology underpinning it. However, the importance of diode lasers is apparent across the power spectrum. At the


LASER SYSTEMS EUROPE ISSUE 23 • SUMMER 2014


higher-energy end, Dilas’ industrial laser systems department is due to launch a 2.5kW diode laser this summer – aimed at brazing, surface treatment, and thin-metal welding. Te new product will reconfirm the company’s position in the multi-kilowatt diode laser field. And other companies are also providing higher power diode laser technology – such as Trumpf, which provides a 6kW system. Compared to other sources, diode lasers


offer the end user advantages in terms of initial price, cost of ownership, and improved


lifetime. Tey are a form of solid-state laser (SSL) and, over the past 10 years, there have been tremendous advances in SSL design and manufacture. Gerry Jones, laser sales manager at Trumpf UK, explained: ‘We are talking about a wall-plug efficiency of about 40 per cent; which is the most efficient of all industrial lasers. Tey have become more efficient, but also the beam quality has improved, and they are now available at higher power levels. At Trumpf we offer up to 6kW systems, but others go to greater powers than this. Tose three things have made [diode lasers] much more attractive to customers.’ Dilas, which celebrates its 20th anniversary


this September, specialises in diode components and systems and has seen a large increase in interest and sales of its industrial


@lasersystemsmag | www.lasersystemseurope.com


Rodney Campbell


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