• A New Version for BIFMA
  • According to sources at BIFMA, the latest version, ANSI/BIFMA X5.1-2011 for General-Purpose Office Chairs should be published and released in the next 60 days.  This could have an impact on most office furniture manufacturers in the near future.
    The latest version has made some adjustments to the standard due to the fact that many typical users of office chairs are getting a bit heavier.  BIFMA has referenced the most current, CEASAR anthropometric 2002 report, database to establish the 95th percentile male weight of 253-lbs and incorporated these findings into the new version of the standard.

    The scope of the upcoming ANSI/BIFMA X5.1 standard has been updated to describe the typical office chair usage and user.  The user, as mentioned above, is a 253-lb person and the typical usage is based on a 10 year single shift lifetime.  There have been a few major changes, somewhat major changes, and additions to the standard as detailed below:
    •    Section 9 – Swivel Test – Cyclic: The load applied to the seat has been increased from 225-lbs to 250-lbs.
    •    Section 11 – Seating Durability Tests – Cyclic: The drop height of the 125 lb 16″ impact bag for the impact portion of the test has been increased from 1.0″ to 1.2″.
    •    Section 12 – Stability Tests: The rear stability portion of the test has been changed completely.  The 173-lb rear stability weight has been replaced by 350 mm discs weighing 10 Kg each.  Depending on the type of chair, either 13 of these discs are used or 6 discs are used.  This test was modified to harmonize with ISO and European Norm (EN) test standards.
    •    Section 13 – Arm Strength – Vertical – Static: The functional and proof loads have been changed to 169-lbf and 253-lbf respectively, but the method of applying the loads has been changed as well.  The test facility may only “pull” on most arms, instead of allowing for either pulling or pushing as the current version of the standard.  There was a great deal of study and debate about this change, but this should yield a much more repeatable procedure from lab to lab.
    •    Section 17 – Caster/Chair Base Durability Test – Cyclic: The load has been increased from 225-lbs to 250-lbs.
    •    Section 18 – Leg Strength Test – Front and Side Application: The proof load for this test has been changed to 113-lbf for both the front and side load applications.
    •    Section 19 – Footrest Static Load Test – Vertical: This is the only new test for the 2011 version of the X5.1 standard.  It is basically a 100-lbf static load to one side of the footrest, and then a 2nd load of 100-lbf is applied to the other side of the footrest at the same time.  Then the 2nd load is removed and the initial load on one side is increased to 200-lbf.  This is the functional load application.  The proof load applies a 300-lbf static load to only one side of the footrest.  All loads are applied for one minute.
    •    Section 20 – Footrest Durability Test – Vertical – Cyclic: If an adjustable footrest moves by more than 1 inch during the first 500 cycles, this would be considered a loss of serviceability and a failure.
    •    Section 22 - Out Stop Tests for Chairs with Manually Adjustable Seat Depth: The load in the seat has been increased from 154-lbs to 163-lbs.



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