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Aluminum Breadboards: Enhanced Stiffness, 55 mm (2.2") Thick
18" x 24" UltraLight™
Cutaway Showing the Internal Honeycomb Structure
UltraLight™ Honeycomb Breadboards offer a high strength-to-weight ratio and an all-aluminum construction. Using aluminum throughout means that the breadboard will have similar coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE), which will minimize 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.
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
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.
Minimum Relative Breadboard Motion
The UltraLightTM range incorporates a double-plate, single-honeycomb design, providing excellent stiffness and dynamic rigidity. 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.
Excellent Surface Flatness
Breadboard flatness is critically important during many experimental setups. Lack of local flatness requires readjustment of components for height variations across the breadboard and can cause component “wobble”. Thorlabs breadboards offer unsurpassed flatness due to the high-precision aluminum plates, which are specially handled to maintain superior flatness throughout the manufacturing process. A unique thermal bonding process ensures that stress is not induced during manufacture, thereby retaining the flatness of the top plate.
Thorlabs breadboards have matched aluminum for both the top and bottom plates. This unique athermalized design eliminates thermal bowing effects caused by temperature variations.
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.