When looking for office chairs you might come across something called an AFRDI level or rating, or perhaps your workplace requires AFRDI certified chairs, and you wonder, what does it actually mean?
The AFRDI are the Australasian Furnishing Research and Development Institute, a non-profit, independent organisation of engineers and technicians whose job it is to test furniture for quality and durability.
Having chairs independently and objectively tested helps you know the quality of the product you’re getting, and helps us stand by its quality with real confidence; these are truly solid chairs! Manufacturers who have their products tested by the AFRDI pay for the privilege, and formally agree to maintain product quality and submit regular samples for repeated testing. According to AFRDI Technical Manager, Ian Burton, their testing standards are “severe and realistic” and chairs which survive are “genuinely superior” products.
It’s not just durability that’s tested, though. Chairs are checked against ergonomic criteria, ensuring that their dimensions and adjustability make them suitable for the vast majority of the population. They check the safety of the product by ensuring proper materials and construction methods are used, that they’re not prone to easy tip-overs, and that all functions work correctly as advertised.
So what do the different levels mean? The levels, 3 to 6, relate to the durability of the product, with chairs at level 3 having passed easier stress testing than level 4, and so on up to level 6. They subject the seats and backs to repeated cycles of load testing: 50,000 cycles at level 3, 100,000 at level 4, 200,000 at level 5 and 200,000 at a higher weight at level 6. They conduct static load testing to determine weight ratings, impact testing, swivel testing, and drop testing from certain angles and heights. After all this, technicians inspect the chairs for damage and functionality. These chairs really run the gauntlet to get AFRDI’s tick of approval!
When you buy an AFRDI approved chair you can be confident it can handle repeated and continual everyday use from a person up to the rated weight. When you sit yourself down into your chair the actual force that chair experiences is much higher than what the scales tell you. When an AFRDI approved chair is rated at, for example, 135 kg, that chair has been tested to withstand static loads of around 400 kg!
If you’re looking for a high quality and durable chair that suits your working needs, take a look at our great range of AFRDI certified chairs.