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Pre-formed Dimple vs Laser Plates

The term pre-formed dimple is often used for Laser Plates. Pre-formed dimple is plug welded to the final product after the tank is rolled, seamed, and heads are attached, while Laser Plates are welded in the flat before rolling and seaming. The end result is similar, but Laser Plates reduce production time and increase possibilities.

Pre-formed dimple also requires higher flowrates to generate the same amount of heat transfer as Laser Plates. Because of the shape of our pillows we are able to generate more turbulent flow with less volume leading to our customers needing smaller equipment to heat and cool. With the arrival of laser welding machines the advantages and possibilities with Laser Plates have grown enormously.

Difference in design
Both pre-formed dimple and Laser Plates can be produced from stainless steel sheets. Pre-formed dimple plates are made of large sheets with dimples that are punched into the plate with a hole at the bottom of the dimple for it to weld to another piece of metal. After the tank shell has been rolled into the desired shape, the pre-formed dimple is welded to the tank shell and/or tank head.

Laser Plates, on the other hand, are two sheets of stainless steel that are welded together by a laser welding machine while they are both flat. After the plates are rolled into the right shape, the plate is safely inflated with water to produce a cavity that the heat transfer medium runs through.

There are many advantages to using Laser Plates over pre-formed dimple:

  •  Reduced labor costs
  • Ability to use thinner jacket materials
  • More flexibility in design
  • Shorter lead times
  • Ability to produce a consistent weld time after time
  • No polishing of the interior of the tank due to laser welding

The biggest difference between pre-formed dimple and Laser Plates is in the application. Pre-formed dimple plates are suitable for very small tanks and applications where integral heat transfer is needed on a tank after the tank is in the field. In addition, pre-formed dimple can handle a maximum pressure of 60-70 psi while Laser Plates can handle much higher pressures.

Laser plates have a standard rating of 150 psi for many material combinations and can go much higher if the application requires. For segments where high pressure plays a major role, such as in the chemical or pharmaceutical industry, Laser Plates are a good quality solution.

We are happy to help you with a heat transfer calculation to compare!






In countries where labor costs are low, such as in Mexico and other Latin American countries, many companies still use pre-formed dimple. Omega Thermo Products now supplies Laser Plates worldwide, even in Australia.

The terms pre-formed dimple and Laser Plate are used interchangeably. Pre-formed dimple is produced differently and cannot handle as high of pressures as Laser Plates. Where Laser Plates are produced as an integral welded tank shell or head before the tank fabricator receives the product. Pre-formed dimple plates require labor by the tank fabricator to put the heat transfer surface on.

Our engineers are happy to help you with the possibilities of Omega Laser Plates. Email us for more information.