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I did a button matrix using galvanized wires (only one thread, 1 mm thickness) and it works. (But) I don't know, it's a good material o it can melt with temperature? Maybe galvanized metal is a "bad conductor" of electricity, I read about it but nobody explains the reason.

I'm not planning to use it on the outside, it will not move from home :)

It's a little project that will work with batteries, at 5/10 V and 0.5/1A at maximum.

Thanks in advance for your time, and regards!

Edited: The wire I'm talking about is this It's something like it: https://www.amazon.com/50143-Gauge-Galvanized-Steel-Wire/dp/B001EX57ZK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1524132120&sr=8-3&keywords=galvanized+wire

there are "versions" made from aluminum, iron or steel. Aluminum seems the best in terms of conductivity, copper is better but it gets "oxidation" easily.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't really know what you mean with galvanized wires; can you specify, maybe add a photo to your question? If they are wires that aren't specifically sold as resistor wire, they are probably actually pretty good conductors. \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Müller Apr 19 '18 at 9:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's something like it: amazon.com/50143-Gauge-Galvanized-Steel-Wire/dp/B001EX57ZK/… \$\endgroup\$ – Jordi - Apr 19 '18 at 10:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please edit your question to include that info. Is it really steel wire? \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Müller Apr 19 '18 at 10:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Melt with temperature" ? Have you ever seen barbed wire melting on a fence just because it was a sunny day ? Or are you afraid it will melt because of the current through it ? How many amps will go through the wires, then ? I guess not much, since it is just for sensors. So why are you worried ? As for the conductivity, you can refer to wikipedia. Steel seems to be ~4 times worse than copper. I don't know what you can conclude from that. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Apr 19 '18 at 12:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think galvanized is a good choice. I am not aware of it being used as a conductor. Galvanized means covered with zinc. The zinc oxidizes and in so doing protects the base metal (usually the base is steel). But that means that you can expect a layer of zinc oxide to coat the outside of the wire within a short time. The underlying steel is not a very good conductor compared to aluminum or copper, but that probably doesn't matter unless you are carrying largish currents. I would be more worried about the zinc oxide. \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Apr 19 '18 at 16:25
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It's a mild steel wire coated with zinc to prevent rust and corrosion. Unless you put it in a special furnace, it will not melt. It's a metal, so not bad at conducting electricity, unless you'll be laying miles of it... in which case copper is better. It is, however, difficult to solder to, and somewhat rigid. Also, the softer zinc coating may wear off if handled a lot, in which case the steel will rust. I suggest putting a coat of varnish when it is new to preserve the zinc coating.

Enameled copper wire (magnet wire) is a possible alternative, but is more difficult to obtain. Bare copper wire may also be available at the hardware store.

Also, brass wire is an alternative, may be available at the hardware store, stiff, resists abrasion, corrodes less than copper, not too difficult to work, looks good, easy to solder to... I use it all the time (for making contacts and springs).

Another alternative is aluminum wire/sheet, but it cannot be soldered to... although it is cheap, comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and is soft and easy to work with with simple tools. Connections would have to be riveted with aluminum rivets (which are easy to make from wire).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you Indraneel! It's a great study about materials, I'll do a visit to my local store with this on mind. And I try soldering before buy large quantity! \$\endgroup\$ – Jordi - Apr 19 '18 at 12:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're welcome! Please remember to accept answer if you find it useful! \$\endgroup\$ – Indraneel Apr 19 '18 at 12:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ OP should consider stainless steel welding wire also. Won't corrode, and is not too expensive since it is manufactured in bulk for welding. \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Apr 19 '18 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ But how easy is it to solder? \$\endgroup\$ – Indraneel Apr 19 '18 at 17:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have never soldered stainless wire. Apparently it can be done with special fluxes. Then a hot water cleaning operation becomes mandatory after soldering. But you can't solder galvanized wire either, can you? \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Apr 22 '18 at 1:02
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The wire in your link is uninsulated. For almost all electrical or electronic work, you should use insulated copper wire, so you won't get short circuits if two wires touch.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think OP is making switches, so they need to touch. \$\endgroup\$ – Indraneel Apr 19 '18 at 17:24

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