skip to Main Content
Search float button
BIFMA X5.5 Association Ballot

BIFMA X5.5 Association Ballot

BIFMA has recently been reviewing its ANSI/BIFMA X5.5 standard – Desk / Table Products.  The current version of the standard was published in 2014.  BIFMA recently closed its association ballot based on the draft published in February 2020.  Please find below our test-by-test comparison of the proposed draft versus the current standard.  Some of the new requirements were harmonized from BIFMA X5.9-2019.

ANSI/BIFMA X5.5 standard vs association ballot test-by-test comparison



Section TitleComparisonConclusion
TitleTitle is now “Desk/Table Products” instead of “Desk/Table Products – Tests”No impact
1ScopeScope now includes retail spaces, restaurants, and cafeterias.No retesting required:

All products tested are still valid

2.6.2clear heightClear space for units with a bottom reduced from 18 inches to 12 inches. Calculated load based on clear space will be reduced.No retesting required:

18″ high units hold more weight than 12″ high units

2.20folding leg tableAdded definition for “folding leg tables”No impact
2.39Obstruction ResponseAdded definition for “Obstruction Response”No impact
2.50.4keyboard/laptop tableDepth limitation of 18 inch removedMay require retesting:

Units with depths >18 inch may need to be reclassified

3.1.4Testing ConsiderationsManufacturer’s accessories included in worst-case product conditionMay require retesting:

If manufacturer’s accessories were not previously included in worst-case designs

3.3.2Foot Clearance for Height Adjustable TablesNew requirement to have no less than 4.5 inches of clearance beneath a product suspended from a vertically user-adjustable surface.May require retesting:

If clearance is <4.5 inch

3.6TolerancesAdded requirement for calibration of devices used to measure test parametersMay require retesting:

If your lab’s calibration is not as stringent as new requirements

3.10Temperature and Humidity ConsiderationsAdded that sample should be stored in ambient conditions for at least 24 hours before testing. Conditions should be maintained between 15 to 27°C and 10-70% RH and if outside these limits they should be recordedNo retesting required:

New limitations are suggestions

Table 1Test LoadsNow all tables ≤45 inch in length require distributed loadsMay require retesting:

Tables ≤45 inch in length will require retesting

Table 2Loading GuideLoading Guide AddedNo impact
4Stability Tests-Added that user-activated stability devices shall not be employed.

-Units are tested with doors closed unless otherwise specified or necessary to be opened for extendible elements.

May require retesting:

If in the past tests were performed with stability devices employed and doors opened

4.3Stability Under Vertical Load TestsTest no longer applicable to units less than 17.7 inch in heightNo retesting required:

Scope of applicable units reduced

4.3.2Stability Under Vertical Load – Test ProcedureAdditional stability test with a 75 lb static load to be performed.Retest required:

Additional stability test to be performed

5.2Concentrated functional load testTest now applicable to fixed height tables >38 inch (half load) and adjustable tables that can be adjusted to >38 inch (set to 38 inch max).May require retesting:

Tables >38 inch high will need to be retested

5.4.3Concentrated Proof Load Test – Acceptance LevelNow allows a gradual loss of height for height adjustable surfacesNo retesting required:

New acceptance criteria are more forgiving

5.5.3Distributed Proof Load Test – Acceptance LevelNow allows a gradual loss of height for height adjustable surfacesNo retesting required:

New acceptance criteria are more forgiving

6.4Top Load Ease Cycle Test – Acceptance LevelNow allows a gradual loss of height for height adjustable surfacesNo retesting required:

New acceptance criteria are more forgiving

8.3Leg Strength Test AlternateNew alternative method for performing leg strength test for units that could not be tested as per the traditional method (ex: scissor-type legs)May require retesting:

If leg strength test was not previously performed due to limitations in the method.

9Separation Tests for Tall Desk/Table ProductsNew limitation: test does not apply to privacy screens weighing less than 1 lb/ft2 and total weight exceeding 20 lbs.No retesting required:

New limitations are more conservative

9.3Separation Tests for Tall Desk/Table Products – Test ProcedureAdditional limitations on the number of impacts for privacy screens <3 inch thick, components <24 inches wide, and component surfaces inset more than 12 in from support surface base-unit edge.No retesting required:

New limitations are more conservative

10Extendible Element Cycle TestTests no longer apply to extendible elements with functional load capacity of less than 15.4 lbs.No retesting required:

New limitations are more conservative

11.3Extendible Element Retention Impact and Durability (Out Stop) Tests – Test ProcedureReset interval for compensation of ball-bearing cage creep now ≥500 cycles instead of ≥250 cycles.May require retesting:

Extendible elements with ball bearing slides need to be retested if reset for creep

14.3.3Force Test for Door Locks – Test ProcedureForce test now done loaded AND unloaded.Retest required:

Additional force test now performed on locks

15Work Surface Vertical Adjustment TestTest no longer applicable to laptop tablesRetest required:

Method extensively revised

15.2.1Work Surface Vertical Adjustment Test – Test Setup for Motor-Driven or Crank-Driven Surfaces-Largest space-divider or privacy screen shall be attached to table during test.

-User adjustable obstruction response sensors now may be set at lowest sensitivity.

-Functional load now applied to any storage elements.

-New load and load distribution requirement.

-Duty cycle requirement modified to 1 half-cycle on and then off for the time it takes to run 9 half-cycles. Was: 3 cycles on then off for the time it takes to run 15 cycles

-Added: Motor-driven mechanisms that are software-controlled or have other control mechanisms to prevent damage during typical use shall not be disabled. Optional field installable sensors for added sensitivity shall not be installed during testing.

15.2.2Work Surface Vertical Adjustment Test – Test Setup for Counterbalanced SurfacesAll applicable changes to 15.2.1 also apply.
15.3.1Work Surface Vertical Adjustment Test – Test Procedure for Motor-Driven, Crank-Driven, or Counterbalanced Surfaces-Test procedure now applicable to counterbalanced surfaces as well (15.3.2 deleted).

-Test height intervals modified (no longer quartiles)

-Total # of cycles increased from 4000 to 5010.

-Frequency of recalibration routines changed from ≥1000 cycles to ≥500 cycles

-If unit shuts down within any 500 cycle interval, it may be recalibrated/reset.

15.4Work Surface Vertical Adjustment Test – Acceptance LevelAdded requirement for motor driven units that if shutdowns occur more than 3 times within 500 cycles, this is considered a loss of serviceability. Double button pushes are not considered false interruptions; however no more than 25 double pushes shall be allowed in any given 500 cycle interval.
18.2Durability Test for Desks and Tables with Casters – Test Setup-Now specified that rectangular units are to be cycled along their length.

-Cycling device may be lowered to prevent tipping.

-Cycling rate changed to 10 +2/-6 cpm.

-Tilt top tables now to be cycled half way stowed and half way open.

May require retesting:

If unit was not cycled along its length and if tilt top tables not cycled as per new requirements

19.2Pull Force Test – Test SetupPermissible to support horizontal receding doors during the break-in period.No retest required:

Additional instructions are suggestions, not requirements.

23Monitor Arm Cycle Test – Cycle Test Rotation Movement at Arm-to-MonitorAdded rotation of monitor to arm joint (Figure 23e).May require retesting:

If monitor to arm joint rotates and was not previously tested.

25Unattached Table Top Retention TestNew testMay require retesting:

If unit had an unattached top

Appendix AImpact Test Bag ConstructionSand removed as possible fill media.May require retesting:

If your lab uses sand in their impact bags

Learn more about Micom’s
BIFMA testing services. If you have any questions about BIFMA testing, we invite you to contact us today. 

Micom Laboratories is a third party industrial material testing laboratory accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, CGSB, ISTA and many other organizations.


All of the information and opinions contained in this blog are prepared 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.

Back To Top