By Ryan W. Johnson, Ph. D.
I am intrigued by the ubiquitous use of rusty screws securing toilet seats to the base of toilets. It seems that in an effort to save $0.10 or so, the manufacturers always go with either standard steel or some cheap version of stainless steel that resists corrosion for 1 - 2 years of normal use.
When selecting a material for the mounting screws, I believe any student in a freshman engineering design course would be expected to consider the water laden environment of a typical toilet due to normal use and cleaning. My house is five years old and the primary example of visible corrosion I can point to is that all three of my toilets have rust stains under the seat mounting screws. It seems inexcusable that such a simple material choice could be so wrong so frequently.