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Re: an interesting mechanical engineering problem

Original poster: FIFTYGUY@xxxxxxx
My cheap, easy suggestion for joining pieces of 4" [!] copper tubing quadrants:

Make a series of circumferentially spaces saw cuts a few inches deep along the axis of one of the pieces (this will be the female end of the joint). This will essentially make "petals" or "fingers" out of one of the ends. Shove the mating (male) end of the other piece into the split piece. Clamp with whatever. I'd start with cuts 4" deep, maybe 8 cuts to make 8 fingers out of the female end. More cuts and deeper cuts make the joint more accommodating. Should be quick work with a Sawzall or Saber saw. If there's some problem with ferrous hose clamps (say, worm-screw type radiator hose clamps) I'm sure the super-duty 3/8"-wide nylon cable ties would work fine. There's lots of other kinds of plastic clamps. Or for really cheap, just neatly use a bunch of electrical tape (which you could cover the joint with, no matter what clamping method).
    You can't get cheaper and simpler than some saw cuts and electrical tape.

-Phil LaBudde
(save your time and money for the IGBT's)