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BIFMA X5.11 – New Standard Release

BIFMA X5.11 General Purpose Large Occupant Office Chairs – tests –  was released on January 5, 2015 by the Business Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association.  This standard is for individuals having a body mass greater than 253 lbs and up to 400 lbs which equates to the 99,5th percentile male in the US.  BIFMA X 5.1 is for occupants with a body mass up to 253lbs.  To a large extent the two standards are similar; the test procedures are the same however most of the loads and forces were increased.  One should note this is not a bariatric chair standard which more or less would be the level above.  For chairs to qualify to BIFMA X5.11; they have to have a minimum seat width of 560 mm (22 inches).  This standard is also divided in 3 different chair types:

  • Type I:  Tilting chair
  • Type II: Fixed seat angle, tilting backrest
  • Type III: Fixed seat angle, fixed backrest

There are 3 types of tests required in the standard:

  • Static loads
  • Dynamic loads
  • Cycle tests

The tests are as follow:

General-Purpose Large Occupant Office Chairs

Section #:

  • 5. Seat Width Measurements
  • 6. Back strength test (Type I)
  • 7. Back strength test (Type II & III)
  • 8. Drop test
  • 9. Swivel cycling test
  • 10. Tilt mechanism test
  • 11.2. Seating impact test
  • 11.4. Front Corner Load Ease Test – Cyclic
  • 12.3. Rear Stability test
  • 12.4. Front Stability
  • 13. Arm strength test Vertical
  • 14. Arm strength test Horizontal
  • 15. Backrest durability (Type 1)
  • 16. Backrest durability (Type 2 & 3)
  • 17. Caster/chair base durability test
  • 18. Leg strength test – front application & side application
  • 21. Arm durability test
  • 22. Out Stop Tests for Chairs with anually Adjustable Seat Depth
  • 23. Tablet Arm Static Load Test
  • 24. Tablet Arm Load Ease Test – Cyclic

Contrary to BIFMA X 5.1; there is no base test required.  Chances are this test will also be removed from the next version of BIFMA X 5.1.

For more information about this new standard and our furniture testing  services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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.

Michel Comtois

Michel Comtois is an accomplished founder and CEO of Micom Laboratories Inc., an ISO/IEC 17025 (2017) A2LA-accredited independent laboratory specializing in product and material testing services. Before establishing Micom Laboratories in 1999, Michel, who also holds a Master’s degree in Physical Chemistry, gained extensive experience over a 14-year tenure managing departments spanning physical chemistry, physics, mechanical and material testing in research and contract laboratories. This exposure granted him a profound understanding of the intricacies of development and material testing processes.

In addition to his practical experience, Michel has played influential roles on various voluntary technical committees. He notably, served as the chairperson for CAN/CGSB 44.227 and the Head of the Canadian Delegation for ISO TC 136. He also contributed to the following technical committees: CAN/CGSB 44.229, CAN/CGSB 44.232, ANSI/BIFMA X5.1, ANSI/BIFMA X5.5, ANSI/BIFMA X5.6, ANSI/BIFMA X 5.9 ANSI/BIFMA X5.11, ISTA Certification Council.

Leveraging his unique expertise, he has led Micom Laboratories to become a renowned name in its niche, now operating out of a 16,000-square-foot test facility in Montreal, Canada, and serving a diverse customer base with an array of material and product testing services. Follow Michel on LinkedIn

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