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I have never been able to bend a tube of ANY material, (no matter how it is treated) without it flattening -- unless I use some sort of bending fixture that constrains the tube to a fixed width across the bend... e.g.: to "flatten", the material of the curvature of the tube has to go somewhere and it goes into making the tube flat and wider in the bend. By constraining the width, the flatness cannot form. I have used the spring type holders (sometimes they are really hard to get off without ruining the spring) and I have a couple of tubing benders that have curved round bottom grooves that hold the shape of the tubing while it is being forced around the curve. This stretches the material on the outside of the curve and sometimes actually compresses the material on the inside of the curve. I never had much luck with filling the tube with sand or a low melting point solid (solder or Bismuth); it is also sometimes very hard to get the tube completely emptied of the solid... sand gets embedded in the tube walls (and breaks loose later) and solder & Bismuth form an amalgam with the tube material (copper/brass/etc.) and not all of it gets removed and can then contaminate what flows through the tube.
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