What Chair Parts Are Necessary for A Heavy Duty Office Chair?

You may think the heavy duty office chairs, by definition, is designed for and only needed by the people with heavy weight and large body.

But if the environment is more demanding, you will also need a heavy duty office chair with superior strength and durability. For example, in a 24/7 control room or call centre, multiple shifts result in the office chair being used frequently. At this time, standard chairs just don’t measure up, simply. Because they are designed for a normal 8 hour day with a rated maximum loading capacity of 120kg. 

To make the office chair “stronger” and “more durable”, it’s necessary to consider the higher performance requirements in the overall design.

The correct combination of all the individual components required to make up the chair is essential. The important components include the following:

1. Base Set used on heavy duty office chairs

(1) Casters
(2) 5-Star base
(3) Gas cylinder

(1) Casters

For heavy duty office chairs, it is best to have large-diameter casters.

Larger wheels have higher carrying capacity. For instance, casters with a diameter of 60 mm have a higher load carrying capacity and are easier to handle than the 50 mm ones.

If the chair is used on a hard surface such as a tiled floor, it is better to use soft-edged casters because they will not damage the floor.

Hard casters work fine on carpeted floors.

Office Chair Casters NCT50-053BH
Office Chair Casters NCT50-053BH
Office Chair Caster NCT50-101W
Office Chair Caster NCT50-101W
Office Chair Caster NCT60-282
Office Chair Caster NCT60-282

(2) 5-Star base

5-Star bases are made either from aluminium,glass reinforced nylon, or formed steel tubing.

  • The aluminum bases have a very high load-bearing capacity and can be recycled. Therefore, heavy-duty office chairs usually use aluminum 5-star bases. But they are often the most expensive option.
  • Bases made of Glass fiber reinforced nylon (nylon chair bases) have become very popular. With the correct design structure, high-quality nylon and a 30% glass fiber reinforced filler, the nylon bases are ideal for heavy-duty office chairs. Because these bases can provide brilliant strength. Besides, they are flexible enough to move easily on slightly uneven floors. Nylon  bases are cheaper than aluminum bases. For more details, you can read the article: The Advantages of Nylon Chair Base.
  • Bases made from steel tubing (metal chair bases) are welded together and are known to fail along the weld lines. Although they are strong, the integrity of the 5-star steel base is decided by the quality of the weld. These bases are the least popular choice for 24/7 chairs.
Aluminium Chair Base - NBW05
Aluminium Chair Base - NBW05
Office-Nylon-Chair-Base-NPA-B
Office Nylon Chair Base NPA-B
Metal-Chair-Base-N05
Metal-Chair-Base-N05

(3) Gas Cylinder

A gas cylinder allows you to raise or lower the seat height of the chair. When you sit down for the first time, it can also act as a “damper” to cushion the impact.

The gas cylinders manufacture should be in accordance with specific international design standards, such as BIFMA5.1. If they are, they will carry the applicable logo or mark and class rating.

For heavy-duty chairs, Class 4 gas lift is preferred for its load rating is higher than the standard Class 3.

Gas lift without this mark may be bad quality or may not be able to support the required weight or load.

Gas Cylinder - Curling Series
Gas Cylinder - Curling Series

2. Tilt Mechanism on heavy duty office chairs

Multifunction Tilt Mechanism NT001S
Office Chair Multifunction Tilt Mechanism NT001S

The tilt mechanism can be used to adjust the movement of the seat and backrest. You can adjust the angle of the seat and backrest, the depth of the seat (if a seat slide is installed), the height of the seat, and the tilt tension with it.

The strength of the office chair tilt mechanism in a heavy-duty environment is crucial. To make sure that the mechanism is fit for heavy-duty use, a strength test should be carried out. Organizations like SABS or BIFMA will conduct tests based on relevant product performance standards.

The mechanism on Onex Chair parts was tested and certified by SGS since 2005. The procedure involved cycling a weight of 200kg on the mechanism 300 000 times!

3. The Seat on heavy duty office chairs

The seat of a chair used in a 24/7 environment must be strong enough to “carry the load”. Ordinary or standard office chair seats are not designed for heavy-duty applications.

The 3 major components of chair SEAT
(1) Seat base
(2) Foam
(3) Upholstery materials

(1) Seat base

Common materials used for seat bases are plywood, polypropylene or nylon. Seats suitable for heavy-duty chairs require thicker plywood and more laminations. Additional structural webs or steel reinforcement are indispensable for the polypropylene or nylon heavy-duty seats.

(2) Foam

Flexible polyurethane foam is used on all office chair seats and can be block cut or molded. Molded foam, like foam used in car seats, is more flexible and has a longer lifespan. High-quality, high-density molded foam is essential for all heavy-duty office chairs.

(3) Upholstery materials

Choose the upholstery materials which are suitable for the operating environment. Polyester, acrylic or nylon weaves are breathable but more difficult to clean than vinyl or leather.

4. Backrest of heavy duty office chairs

The 3 major components of BCKREST
(1) Support structure or frame
(2) Foam (for upholstered backs) or Mesh
(3) Lumbar support

(1) Support structure

For any office chair, the pressure of the backrest support structure is not as heavy as that of the seat. Upholstered plywood backrests usually do not need additional reinforcement. While polypropylene shells normally have standard web reinforcement. If the chair has a mesh backrest, it must match with a support frame that made of high-quality glass fiber reinforced nylon. Other plastics are simply not strong enough for office chairs used in 24/7 control rooms and call centers.

(2) Foam or Mesh

Even in a heavy-duty environment, the foam on the backrest of an upholstered office chair will not be stressed. The use of softer block cut foam is often sufficient.

Good quality meshes can easily have a service life of more than 10 years. While the inferior meshes will quickly become “flabby”. And they can’t provide the correct ergonomic support for your back any more.

(3) Lumbar support

In a 24/7 environment where multiple people use the same office chair, generally, different users do not readjust their lumbar support when starting a shift. This negates the benefits of the additional lumbar adjustment function. In this case, a control room or call center chair like Heathrow is worth considering.

5. Armrests for heavy duty office chairs

Height-adjustable armrests are a necessary condition for ergonomics of all office chairs used in 24/7 control rooms or call centers.

Based on the work performed, height-adjustable armrests can add ergonomic benefits. Some chairs have multifunctional armrests. They are height and width adjustable. Besides, they also enable the arm pads to move forwards, backwards, and even rotate inwards and outwards.

The armrests of big and tall executive office chairs should be strengthened. Because they are often used to help users get in and out of the chair.

Some armrests are not fixed to the seat (as the case), but are fixed to a special steel plate on the chair mechanism. This is much stronger and more rigid.

6. Headrests

The headrest is an optional item. If the chair is used by multiple people, it is best not to decorate the headrest with fabric. Because it is more difficult to clean between operators.

7. Conclusion

If a standard office chair is used in a heavy-duty environment, two things usually happen. The chair either does not work properly or cannot be used for a long time, or it may accidentally break and cause injury.

Heavy-duty chairs need to be strengthened so that they can withstand the rigors of a 24/7 operating environment. Tall executives want their office chairs to be physically larger and stronger. The key items that require additional strength include the base, seat, mechanical devices, and armrest accessories.

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