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Aluminum Breadboards: High Stiffness, 25 mm (0.98") Thick
12" x 12" UltraLight™ Optical Breadboard
See BB Selection Guide TabT-Slot for 25 mm Rail Compatibility
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optical enclosure can be constructed and attached to the side of a 25 mm rail compatible breadboard for easy placement of the enclosure. Please note this application requires the use of drop-in T-Nuts and standard 8-32 cap screws for attaching the hinges to the breadboard.
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The T-Slot located on the sides is compatible with our 25 mm rails and accessories.
Thorlabs' UltraLight™ Honeycomb Breadboards offer a high strength-to-weight ratio and all-aluminum plates and core. Due to this construction, each breadboard has similar coefficients of thermal expansion throughout, which minimizes thermal instabilities. These breadboards are ideal for optical setups where portability and dynamic rigidity are important. They are typically used as replacements for aluminum, steel, or granite surface plates, as well as for applications demanding a totally nonmagnetic surface. Additionally, breadboards ending in "F" or "A" feature a t-slot that is compatible with our 25 mm rails and accessories. This allows for construction of rail systems or optical enclosures without the loss of taps. These breadboards also have plastic covers on the corners; two have labels with either the item number or serial number.
Choosing an Optical Breadboard
The higher the stiffness, the better the breadboard's ability to resist bending when a load or force is applied to it. Therefore, when a heavy load is placed in the center of a breadboard with high stiffness, the board will deflect more than it would if the same load were placed on an enhanced stiffness breadboard. This deflection can create misalignment between two components on opposite ends of the breadboard. This is especially important, for example, when conducting experiments that require sliding optical setups across the breadboard while maintaining a straight optical axis.
We also offer a broad selection of Nexus® Steel Honeycomb Breadboards, which provide greater stiffness and vibration damping. For a quick comparison of our different breadboard options, please see the BB Selection Guide tab.
Frame and Isolation Options
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Ultralight™ Honeycomb Aluminum Breadboard Construction
Thorlabs UltraLight™ optical breadboards offer high strength-to-weight ratio and excellent thermal stability. These breadboards are ideal for optical setups where portability and dynamic rigidity are important. Breadboards with item numbers that do not have a letter at the end feature standard aluminum side panels, while those with item numbers ending in F or A feature t-slots with compatiblity with our 25 mm rails and their accessories.
As shown in the diagram to the right, these breadboards incorporate a double-plate, single-honeycomb design, providing excellent stiffness and dynamic rigidity (see test performed below). The top layer consists of a 6 mm aluminum top plate. The second layer adds the main aluminum honeycomb structure and the 3 mm aluminum bottom plate. The main honeycomb core is fabricated from strips of precision-formed plated aluminum, which is bonded together with a high tensile strength epoxy adhesive. This all-aluminum construction minimizes thermal bowing effects caused by temperature variations.
Excellent Surface Flatness
Stiffness Comparison Testing: Honeycomb Aluminum Breadboards vs. Solid Aluminum Breadboards
Figure 2: Plot Showing the Overall Displacement of the PBG60120A and MB60120/M After a Uniform Force was Applied to the Center of the Breadboard (See Diagram to the Left)
Purpose: Show that an UltraLight PBG60120A breadboard measuring 600 mm x 1200 mm x 25 mm with an unpackaged mass of 20.3 kg has a greater stiffness then the equivalent size MB60120/M solid aluminum breadboard that is 0.5" thick and has an unpackaged mass of 23.49 kg.
Procedure: As shown in Figure 1 below, each table was supported by fulcrum points that were spaced 1 m apart. Then, various loads were applied uniformly across the center of the breadboard and the amount of deflection was measured. From the data collected, a plot of Force vs. Displacement was created as shown to the right.
Results: The result shown in figure 2 shows that the PBG60120A honeycomb aluminum breadboard, which is 14% lighter than the MB60120/M solid aluminum breadboard, is 4.1 times stiffer. This can be found by dividing the two stiffness values, 1.44 x 106 and 3.49 x 105.
Conclusions: As can be seen in Figure 2, it is clear that the PBG60120A UltraLight honeycomb aluminum breadboards, though lighter by 3.19 kg, have a greater stiffness than the MB60120/M 0.5" thick solid aluminum breadboards. Therefore, our UltraLight series of breadboards is an excellent choice if you are looking for a light-weight breadboard with extremely good rigidity.
Optical Breadboard Selection Guides
The selection guides below list every size offered for our honeycomb, solid aluminum, and acrylic breadboards. Simply locate the specific width and length needed and then select the type of breadboard. Expand each table by clicking the More [+] button within the header.