We have been developing a high average-power laser system for science and industry applications that can generate an output of 20 J per pulse at 10-Hz operation. Water-cooled Nd:glass zig-zag slab is pumped with 803-nm AlGaAs laser-diode modules. To efficiently extract energy from the laser medium, the laser beam alternately passes through dual zig-zag slab amplifier modules. Twin LD modules equipped on each slab amplifier module pump the laser medium with a peak power density of 2.5 kW/cm2. In high power laser system, thermal load in the laser medium causes serious thermal effects. We arranged cladding glasses on the top and bottom of the laser slab to reduce thermal effects.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.