CleanTop Optical Tops are available in individual sections up to 1.5m x 4.8m (5’ x 16’). Complex beam-path requirements often require even larger sizes which is achieved by coupling tops. To be effective, the coupling must not compromise stiffness, damping, or flatness across the joints.
By welding a proprietary precision ground and aligned joiner plate system to the top’s structural elements, TMC provides a rigid coupling between optical tables. TMC’s unique process includes alignment techniques that ensure that the tops maintain their high flatness specifications without distortion from the heat effects of welding the joiner plates to the tops.
The design ensures that tops may be decoupled and supported individually or in the coupled state.
Joined Tables configurations are available with any of the TMC Performance Series or Speciality Series tops. At this time we are unable to offer joined tables using our Laboratory (781 family) Series optical tables.
Once joined, the tables behave as a monolithic structure. Like any large structure, the behavior of the larger joined system will behave differently than the individual tops.
The Joined Table technique maintains flatness across the multiple tops. The joiner plates are a precision ground matched set of 20mm (0.75”) thick steel with a dowel pin set used to maintain alignment. The plates are welded to the top and bottom skins along the full length of the joiner plate. A stainless steel strip is provided to cover the joiner plates after the assembly is complete.
The standard material for joiner plates is steel. Non-magnetic versions of CleanTop Optical Tops are typically joined with 304 alloy stainless steel joiner plates.
In a Joined Table configuration with more than one joint, each joint is a matched-set and the Tops are not interchangeable. A “to be joined later” option is available when the possibility of a future need of an additional joined section is envisioned.