Testing Facilities

Our fully accredited testing laboratory conducts exhaustive trials to ensure that Sebel products meet all domestic and international standards for strength and durability.

Customers can be sure that all Sebel product prototypes have already been through more rigorous testing than even the harshest environment can dish out.


Meet ‘George’ - one of our full-time testers who rigorously tests seating products before they are released. Weighing around 80 kilograms (or more when he puts on weight), George will repeatedly drop his full weight with force onto the chair from a standing height. Then he’ll swing against the backrest for good measure. He’ll do this 100,000 times without rest until the engineers are satisfied that the chair will take wear and tear for up to 10 years. Only a very, very durable chair can stand up to his 10 or so days of continuous torture. Apart from testing seats (plastic, plywood and upholstery) to the utmost, this fatigue testing stresses welds in chair frames and shows up very quickly any weaknesses in fixing or assembly.

The Impact Tester

This is a weighted device which is dropped from a height on to discs of plastic cut out of various portions of the chair shells. The falling weight is at least 1 kilogram and has a hardened ball on the bottom. By measuring from how high the weight can drop on to the plastic without splitting it, Sebel is able to continually monitor the quality of our mouldings and compare the different and new materials which become available.

The Castor Tester

Not only does this testing show how well the castor bearing and pivots stand up to 100,000 cycles of moving back and forth on a bumpy path under considerable loading, but the mountings on the frame actually holding the castors are also thoroughly stressed. It also checks how the castors effect or cause wear to the floor coverings and surface. The castor designs used by Sebel are far better in this regard than the other makes evaluated.

This equipment is also adapted for use as a Glide tester, and the heavily weighted reciprocating device is ideal for testing out the relative merits of chair glides. Before deciding which plastic to use on Sebel chairs, a variety of alternate plastic materials were tested out to make sure that not only would the glides stand up to considerable abrasion, even from rough concrete floors, but would minimise marking and indention on delicate polished floors and the like.

The Load Stress Simulator

This incorporates a heavy duty weighting scale, calibrated to measure accurately loads of up to 2,268 kilograms (5,000 pounds). The equipment is used to gradually load up and increase the stresses on chair bases and legs of Sebel chairs. Illustrated here is a Hexastyle chair base on test to see how much loading is required to bend or break these bases. Sebel Hexastyle bases have withstood off-centre stresses of up to 154 kilograms (340 pounds) without breaking.

The Rotator

This one is used to test bearings on revolving chairs. The Rotator is heavily weighted and moves the base with a lopsided load every 3 seconds round through part of a circle and moves it back again, but not quite to the same place. The unit thus works its way round the full circle and tests the whole bearing system. Many Sebel chairs have been tortured under the Rotator, with little wear even after 100,000 cycles, equivalent to the sort of use during ten years or more of active use.