This project conducted by researchers from UM and UTeM on “High Power Fiber Laser System”.
Despite of being new technology, fiber laser has proved far more superior compared to other type of laser such as gas, chemical, semiconductor and solid-state. In the past years, the laser development move towards fiber laser configuration due to its promising advantages against another laser type. However, current fiber laser system in the market is very expensive due to complicated configuration of active pulse generation mechanism that involves ultrafast and advanced electronic circuit. The most notified advantages are the efficiency of the fiber laser which can be more than 30% that can enable generation of high-power laser beam at lower electrical power requirement.
Fiber laser also have much better beam quality which is below than 1.2 mrad that enable the laser beam to travel at very far distance while maintaining its beam diameter. In addition, the modular design of fiber laser enables more compact and portable configuration, making it ideal to be used in many type of application. The fiber laser system to achieve 300W average power. The complete developed system will then be integrated into laser welding set for operated repair and welding thick steel Current laser being used in high power application use gas type laser which commonly use Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas as a gain medium. This low efficient laser (5%) require at least 3-Phase 415 V electrical power outlet due to huge power requirement for it to operate. The CO2 laser is very costly to maintained since it uses water for cooling mechanism due to massive heat dispersion by the system. This laser also is very sensitive due to its complicated construction which prevents it to be used as portable device.
To make it ready for commercialization, the developed systems connected with more laser diodes so that it can produce higher power level. We achieved power scaling up to 300 W average powers. The dedicated design of power supply consisting of buck-boost converter with mili-voltage adjustment should also be developed to provide stable electrical power to laser diodes which require low voltage and high current power. The complete developed system integrated into laser welding set capable of being operated to conduct ship hull repair and offshore oil platform repair. We upscale the optical output power from 50W to 300W to cater more complicated application. The completion of the high- power fiber laser system, the industry player especially in Malaysia will have a new selection of affordable but high-performance laser system to suit their needs. The developed system boosts industrial sector such as automotive, marine and aviation. The market size for this system is very big since it is not only can be used in material processing, but also can be extended to medical device, spectroscopy, and defense sector. A complete high power fiber laser system produced, and the system able to deliver 300W of laser output power with high precision and beam quality.
Prof. Ir. Dr. Sulaiman Wadi Harun
Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering