SAFEGUARDS | Hardlines NO. 038/17

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BIFMA has released the ANSI approved update of ANSI/BIFMA X5.1 (General-Purpose Office Chairs Tests). The 2017 edition contains increased test loads and modifications to test procedures.

On 14 February 2017, BIFMA released an update [1] of ANSI/BIFMA X5.1 – 2011 (General-Purpose Office Chairs Tests). The updated edition now designated ANSI/BIFMA X5.1 – 2017, aids furniture manufacturers in addressing the continued rise in American’s weight by increasing the test loads to reflect the current 95th percentile male weight of 275 lbs. The 2011 edition of the standard was based on a 253 pound 95th percentile male weight. Other updates include renumbered section designations, an alternative front stability test method, and the addition of a new “chair durability” test.

Please see below for a summary of changes:

2017 Test Section Summary of Change

Backrest Strength Test – Static
Section 5 and 6

Type l and ll chairs, angle now 70 degrees
Type l, ll, and lll chairs, force loads now 150 lbf functional, 225 lbf proof.
Test platform can be placed at angle to aid in facilitating testing.
Base Test Removed from normative testing, now Annex C
Drop Test – Dynamic
Section 7
Center column cannot touch test surface/floor during functional drop.
Swivel Test – Cyclic
Section 8
Seat load now 270 lbs.
Tilt Mechanism – Cyclic
Section 9
Seat load now 240 lbs.
Seating Durability – Cyclic (Impact)
Section 10.3
Seat drop height now 1.4 inches.
Updates in procedure
Seating Durability – Cyclic (Front Load Ease)
Section 10.4
Load now 200 lbs.
Stability Tests
Section 11
Update in disc loading positioning.
Alternative test method for front stability now an option.
Arm Strength Test –Vertical – Static
Section 12
Proof load duration now 15 seconds.
Arm Strength Test – Horizontal – Static
Section 13
Proof load duration now 15 seconds.
Backrest Durability – Cyclic
Section 14 and 15
Seat load now 240 lbs.
Caster/Chair Base Durability Test – Cyclic
Section 16
Seat load now 270 lbs. Updates in procedure.
Footrest Static Load Test – Vertical
Section 18
Applicable to chairs with seat heights ≥ 24 inches.
Footrest Durability Test - Vertical –
Cyclic Section 19
Applicable to chairs with seat heights ≥ 24 inches.
Tablet Arm Load Ease Test – Cyclic
Section 23
Load now 55 lbs.
Structural Durability
Section 24
New test.

ANSI/BIFMA X5.1 defines specific tests, the laboratory equipment that may be used, the conditions of tests, and the minimum acceptance levels to be used in evaluating general-purpose office chairs.

SGS is committed to providing information about the development of regulations for consumer products as complimentary services. Throughout the SGS global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Matthew McGarrity
Technical Manager - Hardlines
t: +01 973 897-8889

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