BIFMA X5.4

Micom offers BIFMA X5.4 testing as part of its Office Furniture Testing services.  ANSI/ BIFMA X5.4 Public and Lounge Seating – was initially released in 1980 and since then went through multiple editions.  The current edition was published in 2020.  This standard is for lounge seating products having single or multiple seating positions, with or without pedestal bases. BIFMA X5.4 is for chairs designed for individuals with a corporal mass of up to 275 lbs which represents the 95th percentile male.  The tests were developed with an estimated product life of ten years based on a continuous single-shift usage. Regular office chairs should be tested to BIFMA X5.1. We also offer BIFMA X6.1, BIFMA X6.4BIFMA HCF 8.1 testing for seating products.

 The types of tests to be employed to test to BIFMA X5.4 are:

  • Static load loading
  • Dynamic loading
  • Durability testing

Usually, within a chair family, manufacturers will offer a single seating unit and also multiple-seating units. Not all sizes need to be tested for all tests. Typically some of the tests will be done on the single seating unit e.g.: Stability test and the other tests will be done on the multiple seating position unit deemed to be the structural worst-case scenario.  The product worst-case scenario will be established by considering factors such as construction, longest unsupported span, etc.  Our experts will be happy to review your product offering and let you know which products ought to be tested and this service is free of charge!

BIFMA X5.4 has 28 tests and covers lounge seating products offering different features. Not all tests need to be done on all chairs. There are four chair categories referred to in the standard as chair “styles”. These styles are as follows and apply to both single and multiple seating configurations:

  • Style A: With arm(s) and with backrest
  • Style B: With arm(s) and without backrest
  • Style C: Without arms and with backrest
  • Style D: Without arms and without backrest

 The table below shows which tests need to be done on which chair style, for single and multiple seating configurations and as long as the feature tested is available and the test applicable:

Test # Test Single Seating Style Multiple Seating Style
A B C D A B C D
5 Backrest Strength Test – Horizontal – Static

 

X X X X
6 Backrest Strength Test – Vertical – Static X X X X
7 Backrest Durability Test – Horizontal – Cyclic X X X X
8 Backrest Durability Test – Vertical – Cyclic X X X X
9 Arm Strength Test – Horizontal – Static X X X X
10 Arm Strength Test – Vertical – Static X X X X
11 Arm Durability Test – Horizontal – Cyclic X X
12 Arm Durability Test – Vertical – Cyclic X X
13 Arm Durability Test – Angular – Cyclic X X
14 Seating Durability Test – Cyclic X X X X X X X X
15 Drop Test – Dynamic X X X X X X X X
16 Leg Strength Test – Front and Side Application X X X X X X X X
17 Unit Drop Test – Dynamic X X X X X X X X
18 Caster/Unit Base Durability Test – Cyclic X X X X X X X X
19 Swivel Test – Cyclic X X X X
20 Tilt Mechanism Test – Cyclic X X X X
21 Stability Tests X X X X X X X X
22 Tablet Arm Load Ease Test – Cyclic X X X X X X X X
23 Tablet Arm Load Test – Static X X X X X X X X
24 Structural Durability Test – Side-to-side – Cyclic X X X X X X X X
25 Cycle Test for Recliners X X X X
26 Legrest Strength Test X X X X
27 Footrest Static Load X X X X
28 Footrest Durability Test for Stools – Vertical X X X X

 

Just in case your product has been tested before 2020; below is a test-by test comparison between the new and the previous version of the standard to give you a better understanding of the impact of the new standard BIFMA X5.4 2020 version:

Section
#
Section Title Comparison Conclusion
Title Title is now “Public and Lounge Seating” instead of “Lounge and Public Seating – Tests” No impact
1 Scope -Scope now includes restaurant/dining/café settings, visitor seating in patient rooms, and folding chairs.
-95th percentile male weight increased to 275lb from 253 lbs
2
Definitions – backrest Modified definition and included minimum height of 7.9 inch. No retesting required:
New definition narrows scope of applicable features
Definitions – folding chair Added definition No impact
Definitions – general-purpose large occupant office chairs Added definition No impact
Definitions – leg base Added definition No impact
Definitions – legrest Added definition No impact
Definitions – recliner Added definition No impact
Definitions – stool Added definition No impact
Definitions – tilt mechanism Added definition No impact
Definitions – seat or seating position When calculating number of seating positions width of seating surface now divided by 28″ (instead of 22.5″) and rounded to the nearest integer (instead of rounded down) May require retesting:
Units that were previously considered single-seaters may now be multi-seaters and vice-versa
3.1.3 General – Testing Considerations Added statement that if proof loads are held longer than 10 seconds and damage occurs, it is not considered a failure No retesting required:
Clarification is more lenient
3.5 General – Measurements Added ISO 24496 CMD as an option No retesting required:
BIFMA CMD still valid
3.6 General – Tolerances Added requirement for calibration of devices used to measure test parameters May require retesting:
If your lab’s calibration is not as stringent as new requirements
3.9 General – Test Environment Added 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 recorded No retesting required:
New limitations are suggestions
3.11 General – Appendices Added distinction between Normative and Informative Appendices May require retesting:
See below
5.1 Backrest Strength Test – Horizontal – Static – Applicability Added statement that test does not apply to recliners with user force activated back recline mechanisms unless backrest can be locked into position or stops at less than 35 degrees from the vertical.
No retesting required:
New changes are less critical
5.3.4 Backrest Strength Test – Horizontal – Static – Test Setup Limited multi-seat test for units with >2 seats to two adjacent positions.
5.4.2 Backrest Strength Test – Horizontal – Static – Proof Load Proof load now held for 10 seconds instead of 1 minute
6.3 Backrest Strength Test – Vertical – Static – Test Setup Limited multi-seat test for units with >2 seats to two adjacent positions. No resting required:
Units where 3 or more seating positions were previously tested concurrently are worst case
6.4.2 Backrest Strength Test – Vertical – Static – Proof Load Proof load now held for 10 seconds instead of 1 minute No resting required:
1 min proof load more critical than 10 seconds
7.3.4 Backrest Durability Test – Horizontal – Cyclic – Test Setup Limited multi-seat test for units with >2 seats to two adjacent positions.
Retest required:
Increased load on seat makes the test more severe
7.3.6 Backrest Durability Test – Horizontal – Cyclic – Test Setup Load on seat increased to 240 lbs from 225 lbs.
8.3 Backrest Durability Test – Vertical – Cyclic Limited multi-seat test for units with >2 seats to two adjacent positions. No resting required:
Units where 3 or more seating positions were previously tested concurrently are worst case
9.4.2 Arm Strength Test – Horizontal – Static – Proof Load Proof load now held for 10 seconds instead of 1 minute No resting required:
1 min proof load more critical than 10 seconds
10.4.2 Arm Strength Test – Vertical – Static – Proof Load Proof load now held for 10 seconds instead of 1 minute
May require retesting:
Units with height-adjustable arms need to be re-evaluated
10.5.2 Arm Strength Test – Vertical – Static – Acceptance Level Sudden drop of 1 inch on height-adjustable arms is no longer acceptable during proof loading.
14.3 Seating Durability Tests – Cyclic – Test Setup -Drop height increased to 1.4 from 1.2.
-Weight applied on all other seats increased to 240 lbs from 225 lbs.
Retest required:
Increased drop height and load on seat make the test more severe
14.4 Seating Durability Tests – Cyclic – Test Procedure Limited number of identical seating positions to be evaluated (minimum two).
15.3 Drop Test – Dynamic – Test Setup -Added requirement that any center columns not to touch the test platform during functional load.
-Added note that casters shall be placed in worst-case position.
May require retesting:
Units with center columns tested in contact with the ground and/or units with casters not tested in the worst case position require retesting
15.4 Drop Test – Dynamic – Test Procedures Limited number of identical seating positions to be evaluated (minimum two) for both functional and proof load.
16.1 Leg Strength Test – Front and Side – Applicability Test is no longer applicable to folding chairs without locking mechanisms.
No retesting required:
Test scope reduced, allows greater flexibility for testing, proof load now limited and applied for less time
16.3.1 & 16.4.1 Leg Strength Test – Front and Side – Test Setup Restraining device may now be used to prevent unit from overturning.
16.3.2.2 & 16.4.2.2 Leg Strength Test – Front and Side – Test Procedure – Proof Load -Proof load now limited to 150 lbf.
-Proof load now held for 10 seconds instead of 1 minute
17.1 Unit Drop Test – Dynamic – Applicability -Test is no longer applicable to units with casters.
-Units to be combined with other units to be tested in combined configuration.
May require retesting:
Combined units that were not tested together will require retesting
18.1.3 & 18.2.3 Caster/Unit Base Durability Test – Cyclic – Test Setup Load on unit increased to 270 lbs from 250 lbs. Retesting required:
Increased load on unit makes test more severe
19.3 Swivel Test – Cyclic – Test Setup -Load on seat increased to 270lbs from 250lbs.
-Added clarification regarding “return-to-center” mechanisms.
Retesting required:
Increased load on unit makes test more severe
20.1 Tilt/rocker/glider Mechanism Test – Cyclic – Applicability Clarified that test applies to units with rocker or glider mechanisms but not to curved bottom rocking chairs or reclining mechanisms (see new test #25)
Retesting required:
Increased load on unit makes test more severe
20.3 Tilt/rocker/glider Mechanism Test – Cyclic – Test Setup Load on seat increased to 240 lbs from 225 lbs.
21.1 Stability Tests – Applicability -Now only applicable to units with backrests >7.9inch high
-Individual segments of ganged units tested individually unless otherwise specified by manufacturer.
May require retesting:
Ganged units that were not tested this way may require retesting
21.3.1 Rear-Stability for Non-tilting Units – Test Setup -Added additional guidance for units with casters and rotating units.
-Glides now adjusted to midpoint rather than worst case position.
-Added additional guidance for disk positioning.
-Force now applied 0.25 inch from the top disk instead of 0.24 inch.
No retesting required:
Changes make test less severe
21.4 Rear-Stability for Tilting Units Added note to clarify that test is applicable to recliners. May require retesting:
If recliners were not previously tested
21.4.1 Rear-Stability for Tilting Units – Test Setup -Glides now adjusted to midpoint rather than worst case position.
-Use of new template to locate position of disks on the unit.
Retesting required:
Changes result in a slightly different test method.
21.4.2 Rear-Stability for Tilting Units – Test Procedure Test procedure modified to be more in-line with BIFMA X5.1.
21.5 Front Stability for Units <80 lbs New test procedure for units<80lbs more in-line with BIFMA X5.1. May require retesting:
Units <80 lbs will need to be retested.
21.6 Front Stability for Units ≥80 lbs Added note to clarify that test is applicable to units/recliners without legrests or with retracted legrests.
May require retesting:
If recliners not tested as described
21.6.1 Front Stability for Units ≥80 lbs – Test Setup -Glides now adjusted to midpoint rather than worst case position.
-Added statement that recliner legrests shall be retracted.
21.6.2 Front Stability for Units ≥80 lbs – Test Procedure A fixed force of 32 lbf now applied to all units rather than force required to transfer unit weight to front legs.
22.3 Tablet Arm Load Ease – Test Setup -Load decreased to 55 lbs from 77 lbs.
-Load application point is now 1 inch from edge instead of tablet center.
May require retesting:
Configuration of the tablet arm may make the new test setup more severe, even with decreased load.
24 Structural Durability Test – Side-to-Side – Cyclic New test similar to the one in BIFMA X5.1. May require retesting:
If this test is applicable to the unit it must be done
25 Cycle Test for Recliners – Backrest and/or Legrest Mechanism Durability New test. May require retesting:
Recliners need to be tested
26 Legrest Strength Test – Static Load New test. May require retesting:
Recliners with integral legrests need to be tested
27 Footrest Static Load Test for Stools – Vertical New test. May require retesting:
Stools with legrests need to be tested
28 Footrest Durability Test for Stools – Vertical – Cyclic New test. May require retesting:
Stools with legrests need to be tested
Appendix A Impact Test Bag Construction Sand removed as possible fill media. May require retesting:
If your lab uses sand in their impact bags
Appendix B Stability Disk Construction Details Added informative text for clarification. No retesting required:
Intent of the Appendix is unchanged
Appendix C Front Stability Load Locator Fixture New appendix (informative).
No retesting required:
Informative Appendices
Appendix D Weight Loads/Ratings New appendix (informative).
Appendix E Recliner Pinch Point Cautions New appendix (informative).
Appendix F Example of a Recliner Cycle Test Fixture New appendix (informative).
Appendix G Recliner Front Stability with Legrest Extended New appendix (informative).
Appendix H Figure of Leg-Base Chair New appendix (informative).
Appendix I Template for Rear Stability New appendix, Normative Retesting required:
see rear-stability above
Appendix J Summary of Changes New appendix (informative).
No retesting required:
Informative Appendices
Appendix K Guidance for Seating Units or Tables with Privacy Screens New appendix (informative).
Appendix L Guidance for Seating Flammability New appendix (informative).
Appendix M Structural Durability Test – Front-to-Back – Cyclic New appendix (informative).
Appendix N Guide for Seating Positions for Non-linear Multiple Seating Units New appendix (informative).

Other Test Methods Related to BIFMA X5.4

For additional related test methods please see BIFMA Testing. For heavy user chairs, BIFMA X5.11 should be used. Desk products should be tested to BIFMA X5.5, panel systems to BIFMA X5.6, storage units to BIFMA X5.9, educational seating to BIFMA X6.1, and occasional use seating to BIFMA X6.4.  Finally, for lounge seating products sold to healthcare establishments, manufacturers should consider BIFMA HCF 8.1 for surface cleanability guidelines.