BIFMA X5.4

Micom offers BIFMA X5.4 testing as part of its Office Furniture Testing services.  ANSI/ BIFMA X5.4 Lounge and Public Seating – Tests – was initially released in 1980 and since then went through multiple editions.  The current edition was published in 2012.  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 253 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 Cal 133 Testing and Bifma HCF 8.1 testing for seating products.

The types of tests to be employed to test to BIFMA X 5.4 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 19 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 in the standard as chair “styles”. These styles are as follow 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

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

 

Just in case your product has been tested before 2012; below is a test-by test comparison between the new and the previous version of the standard to give you a better understanding of what are the impacts of the new standard edition:

Test #

ANSI/BIFMA
X5.4-2012

Re-Testing Required?
(Note 1)

Rationale

5

Backrest
Strength Test – Horizontal – Static

Maybe

No re-testing required for typical lounge chairs
with a backrest height above or equal to 200 mm or with fixed
backrests or with pivoting backrest pivoting less than 20 degrees.

6

Backrest
Strength Test – Vertical – Static

No

Same as previous version.  Test not
applicable for chairs with a backrest height above 38″

7

Backrest
Durability Test – Horizontal – Cyclic

Maybe

No re-testing required for typical lounge chairs
with a backrest height above or equal to 200 mm or with fixed
backrests or with pivoting backrest pivoting less than 20 degrees.

8

Backrest
Durability Test – Vertical – Cyclic

No

Same as previous version.  Test not applicable for chairs with a

backrest height above 38″

9

Arm
Strength Test – Horizontal – Static

No

Same test reduced forces

10

Arm
Strength Test – Vertical – Static

No testing required           if testing was done at Micom.  Otherwise
you should review the test procedure that was used.

Excludes units with arm height >38″.
Same forces as before.  The test method specifically requires

pulling down instead of pushing down for non-slab end arms. 

Reduced forces for arms narrower than 3 inches vs previous

version of the standard.

11

Arm
Durability Test for multiple seater– Horizontal – Cyclic

No

Same as before but only required for multiple seating positions

12

Arm
Durability Test for Multiple Seating Units – Vertical – Cyclic
.

No

Same as before but only required for multiple seating positions.

Force reduced from 200 lbs to 150 lbs

13

Arm
Durability Test for Single Seat Units – Angular – Cyclic

New test

New test harmonized with BIFMA X 5.1-2011. For single seat units only.

14

Seating
Durability Tests – Cyclic

Testing required

Impactor drop height increased for 1.0 to 1.2 inch above the

uncompressed foam surface. 

Corner load ease removed from 2005 version

15

Drop
Test – Dynamic

No

Same as previous version

16

Leg
Strength Test – Front and Side Application

No

Proof went from 125 lbs to 113 lbs

17

Unit
Drop Test – Dynamic

No

Drop heights went from 12″ to  7.1,
4.7, 2.4″ based on the unit weight

18

Caster/Unit
Base Durability Test – Cyclic

Testing Required for
single seating units

Number of cycles over obstacles went from 2000 to 500 cycles

and over smooth from 98000 to 25000 cycles. 

Load for units with legs went from 225 to 250 lbs on the seat. 

Multiple units to be tested unloaded.

19

Swivel
Test – Cyclic

Testing required

Load  went from 225 to 250 lbs on the seating surface

20

Tilt
Mechanism Test – Cyclic

No

No change

21

Stability
Tests

No

Rearward stability now applies only to backrests >7.9″

Uses disks for rear  stability. Front stability did not change.

22

Tablet
Arm Load Ease Test – Cyclic

No

No change

23

Tablet
Arm Load Test – Static

No

Application time went from 5 to 1 minute

 

Structural
Durability test – Cyclic

N/A

Removed from 2012 version

 

Base
test – Static

N/A

Removed from 2012 version

Note
1: The statements made in this table are made on a general basis strictly to  help manufacturers and other interested parties to get an overview of how  this new standard’s version could potentially impact product compliance  requirements and status.  Re-testing  may or may not be required on specific configurations despite the statements  made in the above document which only represent Micom Laboratories Inc.’s  opinion.  Specific re-testing  requirements should be based on a case-by-case analysis and cannot be  unilaterally decided strictly based on the statements made above; they should  be used strictly as general guidelines. Whether re-testing needs to be performed needs to be decided  Manufacturers or their customers.

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.  Finally, for lounge seating products sold to healthcare establishments, manufacturers should consider Bifma HCFR 8.1 for surface cleanability guidelines.

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