New ANSI/BIFMA X 5.1 Standard for Office seating

BIFMA has been reviewing for the past six years its BIFMA X5.1 standard and recently released its updated ANSI approved revision last February.  Please find in the table below a test-by-test comparison between the new / current standard and the previous version. Furthermore, this document informs you also about whether or not re-testing will be required to maintain compliance to the standard.  Per our previous post on the topic, the most important change this standard brings is that it is now based on a 275 lbs corporal mass, instead of 253 lbs.  This increased load obviously leads to higher loads and forces for quite a few tests.  However and surprisingly; not all of them.

BIFMA has been very busy the last few years on the seating front. They published BIFMA X5.11 for large occupant (254-400 lbs) in 2015 and they have a draft standard on the back burner for healthcare furniture; BIFMA HCF 8.2.  Both standards share some tests from BIFMA X5.1 and BIFMA X5.4 and incorporate new tests as well.  There is still no BIFMA bariatric standard.  However, I would like to point out that HCF 8.2 goes up to 600lbs which is getting pretty close to the bariatric realm.

On the bariatric front, since there is no official standard, we had been requested many times to develop our own version by some customers.  At the time there was only X5.1 and X5.4 both based on a 225 lbs individual (years ago already).  Today with X 5.1, X5.4, X5.11 and now HCF 8.2 you can almost plot, for each test, a graph of the performance levels required as a function of the standard’s target load and generate your own “bariatric” standard.

For more information about this test or other services we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

MECHANICAL TESTING TO ANSI/BIFMA X5.1-2017 Comparison vs ANSI/BIFMA X5.1-2011

ANSI/BIFMA X5.1-2017

Comparison

Conclusion

1. Scope

Tests developed for a 275 lb. individual whereas it used to be 253 lb.

Identical

2. Definitions

New definition for Leg Base:
“A chair support structure consisting of three or more supports (legs) that are greater than 6″ in height before attaching to a centralized support.”

5. Back strength test (Type I & II)

Test now applies to type 1 & 2 chairs.
Pulling angle is now set at 70° whereas it was 90°.
Pull forces are now 150/225 lbf. whereas they used to be 200/300 lbf.

Different test protocol
Retesting required

6. Back strength test (Type III)

Test now applies to type 3 chairs only.
Pull forces are now 150/225 lbf. whereas they used to be 150/250 lbf

No retest required
Test is easier to pass

 7. Drop test  

Was test #8 in previous version
More specific requirements for Functional load: clearance shall be provided between test platform and center column to prevent interference resulting from impact.
More specific wording for pedestal bases setup

Different test protocol for pedestal base chairs
Retesting required for pedestal base chairs

 8. Swivel cycling test    

Was test #9 in previous version
Same test protocol, load on the seat changed from 113 kg to 122 kg (250 to 270 lb.)

Additional load on chair during cycling: retesting required

 9. Tilt mechanism test

Was test #10 in previous version.
Same test protocol, load changes from 102 kg to 109 kg (225 to 240 lbs)

Additional load on chair during cycling: retesting required

 10.2. Seating impact test

Was test #11.2 in previous version.
The drop height was increased from 30 mm to 36 mm (1.2″ to 1.4″) which yields a higher impact on seat.
More specific wording for pedestal bases, casters and tilt setup.
The center column shall not touch the test platform under impact.

Test more difficult to comply
retesting required

 10.4. Front Corner Load-Ease Test – Cyclic 

Was test #11.4 in previous version
Same test protocol, loading device changes from 734 N to 890 N (165 to 200 lbf)

Test more difficult to comply
retesting required

 11.3. Rear Stability test

Was test #12.3 in previous version
More specific wording for chair setup and test procedure.
Template required for first disk positioning

Different test protocol
Retesting required

 11.4. Front Stability

Was test #12.4 in previous version
Minor changes, more specific wording in test setup and procedure

No significant change

 12. Arm strength test – Vertical   

Was test #13 in previous version
Same loads as before
Proof load application time is reduced from 60s to 15s

Test is easier to comply
No retest required

 13. Arm strength test – Horizontal 

Was test #14 in previous version
Same loads as before
Proof load application time is reduced from 60s to 15s

Test is easier to comply
No retest required

 14. Backrest durability (Type 1)

Was test #15 in previous version
Same test protocol, load on the seat changed from 102 kg to 109 kg (225 to 240 lbs)

Test more difficult to comply
retesting required

 15. Backrest durability (Type 2 & 3)

Was test #16 in previous version
Same test protocol, load on the seat changed from 102 kg to 109 kg (225 to 240 lbs)

Test more difficult to comply
retesting required

 16. Caster/chair base durability test 

Was test #17 in previous version
More specific test protocol for non-pedestal chairs.
Test now applies to chairs with glides/casters combination.
Load changed from 113 kg to 122 kg (250 to 270 lbs)

Test more difficult to comply
retesting required

17. Leg strength test – front application & side application

 Was test #18 in previous version
Same test protocol
Reference to optional simultaneous side load test

Same test
No retest required

 18. Footrest Static Load Test

Was test #19 in previous version
Same as before

Same test
No retest required

 19. Footrest durability cyclic

Was test #20 in previous version
Same as before

Same test
No retest required

 20. Arm durability test 

Was test #21 in previous version
Same as before

Same test
No retest required

 21. Out Stop Tests for Chairs with Manually Adjustable Seat Depth

Was test #22 in previous version Same as before

No change
No retest required

 22. Tablet Arm Static Load Test

Was test #23 in previous version
Same as before

No significant change
No retest required

 23. Tablet Arm Load Ease Test – Cyclic

Was test #24 in previous version
Load applied reduced from 35kg to 25kg (77 lbs to 55 lbs)
Loading  area is now at weakest point whereas it was centered on surface, leading to more stress on structure

Testing maybe required for some tablet arm configuration

6. Detailed requirements for
components

6.1 Work surfaces

Requirement for sit / stand tables added.

 24. Structural Durability Test – Cyclic

 New test

Testing required for non-swivel chairs without casters.

 Removed from X5.1

Base test – Static

Moved to informative appendix

If you have any questions about BIFMA X5.1 or other furniture testing requirements, we invite you to contact us today. It will be our pleasure to review your custom furniture testing needs.


Disclaimer

All of the information and opinions contained in this blog are made with the information, and the understanding that we have reviewed at the time of publishing.  However, despite our efforts, we do not offer any guarantee of their accuracy, thoroughness of our investigation or validity. The author of this blog is not liable for any inaccuracies or any losses or damages that may result from the use of the information or data contained herein. This blog has not been reviewed or verified for its accuracy by any peer group associates prior to publication.