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The influence of the quantum well (QW) interfaces with the barrier layers on the rapid degradation of AlGaAs based high power laser bars (808 nm) is investigated. Thermal stresses induced in the device by the local heating produced by nonradiative recombination areas at the facet mirror are calculated by means of a thermomechanical model. Results show that the laser power density threshold necessary to achieve the plastic deformation, leading to the generation of dislocations and to the failure of these devices, is reduced as the quality of the QW interfaces worsens in terms of thermal boundary resistance.