19 Technology Brochure (PDF Version)

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P 02
INSPIRATION
P 03
DESIGN
P 04
ERGONOMIC INNOVATIONS
P 06
PROBLEMS SOLVED
P 08
ANATOMY OF #19
P 12
SCIENTIFIC VERIFICATION
P 13
THE BODY IN MOTION
P 14
SUSTAINABILITY
P 16
LIFE CYCLE RESPONSIBILITY
TM
#19
Technology
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INSPIRATION
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Why another chair?
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We set out to create a chair whose form and function
would solve the challenges of its predecessors and
dramatically improve the user’s experience. This meant
addressing some critical areas, including weight activation, passive recline ergonomics, construction and
materials, unobtrusive lumbar support, thermal regulation, and user adjustability with minimal controls. The
goal was a chair that worked integrally with the human
body and supported the human body in new and
innovative ways; the user, in that sense, was the most
critical “part” of the system. Our effort to improve led
to innovation and 47 patents and patents-pending.
18 integral parts, plus one equally integral human
being resulted in #19.
#19 takes ergonomics to a new level. Its design is
based on the most advanced ergonomic and technical
information available. Using a combination of passive
adjustments, thermal regulation, and innovative materials, #19 delivers unsurpassed comfort and performance, as well as optimal sitting health.
Our goal was a seating system that worked
integrally with the human body.
Allsteel makes beautiful work tools. #19 is no exception.
It artfully addresses the complexities of seating, and
its hyper-ergonomic capabilities are unprecedented.
The chair is designed to fit multiple body types equally
well; one chair fits all. #19’s parts and materials were
chosen–and in some cases, created–expressly for the
user and the work environment. Nothing is off-the-shelf.
In the end, #19’s design advances seating technology
and promotes a healthy, productive work environment.
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“The modern part of #19’s design is its appearance,
but it’s also the techniques, materials, and systems
used to solve the design challenge.”
–Marcus Koepke
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02
DESIGN
Process
#19 had to contribute to the advancement of a better user experience. During the design process, we chose not to visualize the
end result. But sometimes that interferes with the creativity of
engineering. The process was very flexible. For the first several
months, the team concentrated exclusively on the technical side–
form followed function. We wanted to define the comfort and
functional aspects of working at a desk, and solve the challenges
most users encounter in their work environments.
Goal
Allsteel calls it Purposeful Design . Function, purpose, and
appearance are tied together. Something that is critical to the
chair’s performance can also be beautiful. The modern part of
#19’s design is its appearance, but it’s also the techniques, materials, and systems used to solve the design challenge.
TM
Perspective
Frequently, chair designers focus exclusively on the user. With #19,
the team focused on how the user works in his or her environment. This thought process helped us design innovative solutions
to problems never before considered with other chairs. We made
sure we always accounted for the human body at work, and how
the environment affects productivity. That was important to us. We
designed #19 for the user; no compromises were made.
A word about our designer
[ purposeful design in action ]
Marcus Koepke is a furniture design consultant who develops
products that are intuitive, purposeful, ergonomic, technologically
advanced, and aesthetically pleasing. Collaborating with Allsteel,
he designed #19 to be a seating system that works with the
human body as an integral whole. #19 incorporates the most
advanced research and ergonomic technology to date, and
delivers superior comfort, performance, and style.
A tug handle acts as both structural support
and a hand-hold for chair mobility.
Ball joints allow the back of the chair to
rotate freely as the user moves.
Naturally shaped, intuitive controls give a
clear indication of their function.
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[ based on interviews with: Marcus Koepke, Furniture Design Consultant; Lead Designer, #19 ]
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ERGONOMIC INNOVATIONS
Tria and VenTech–thermal regulation
An innovative feature of #19 is its thermal characteristics, both in the seat and the back, which manage both
heat accumulation and loss (see figure 1).
HOT
Traditional
foam chairs
REGULATED
TEMPERATURE
#19
#19’s seat technology, Tria, is a three-layer construction
consisting of a specially constructed cushion form,
Technogel center, and a microporous Tria compliant
seat upholstery. Besides providing comfort and regulating temperature, the Technogel layer is odor- and
plasticizer-free, so it will not harden over time.
Technogel is the same material used in wheelchairs,
bicycle seats, and running shoes. In a test conducted by
the Biomechanischen Institute of Munich, Technogel’s
performance was measured against silicon, EVA,
poron, and other PU gels. Technogel proved to be the
only material that offered high shock absorption and
high pressure distribution.
The Tria compliant upholstery is a double layer of interlocking loops. It is more breathable than most seating
upholstery and promotes air circulation through the
cushion for optimal user comfort. #19’s upholstery is also
designed to be durable and present a consistent
appearance over time.
VenTech, the thermal weave used in the chair back,
is exclusive to #19. Outdoor gear and athletic shoe
materials were considered. In the end, VenTech was
designed by Marcus Koepke and the Allsteel team.
This multi-dimensional fabric is more dense than
mesh, and is composed of a structural backing and a
soft front designed to breathe. It has the dimensional
quality needed to retain warmth while remaining
slightly cooler than core body temperature.
Thermal regulation is one of the newest concepts in
ergonomics and exclusive to #19’s design. Working
together, Tria and VenTech maintain a consistent,
comfortable temperature that enhances both comfort
and productivity.
04
Mesh chairs
TYPICAL WORKDAY
[ fig 1]
Temperature accumulation in traditional
foam chairs, mesh chairs, and #19 was
charted and compared. #19 was the most
effective in regulating and maintaining an
ideal temperature.
COLD
SCIENTIFIC VERIFICATION
Thin pad
minutes elapsed
> Peak contact
pressure: 221.3 psi*
Temperature regulation
> 70
The number one complaint in offices today is
temperature regulation. #19’s seat and back are
designed to maintain a temperature ideal for work.
This keeps the user from engaging in self-regulatory
processes (sweating, shivering, posture adjustments,
etc.) which are direct measures of discomfort and can
interfere with work. A thermal-regulating chair
enhances productivity by minimizing the adjustments
the user has to make to stay comfortable.
Mesh
minutes elapsed
> Peak contact
pressure: 174.6 psi*
> 70
To ensure #19 had the right thermal capabilities,
temperature changes were monitored at specific
contact points, as well as across the user’s clothing
and skin. Temperature increase was recorded simultaneously at 20 critical locations while the user engaged
in different tasking activities. An advanced, 64-channel
system was used for real-time monitoring. In addition,
the thermal properties of different fabrics were evaluated according to standard test procedures. The
result: Tria and VenTech, technologies exclusive to
Allsteel that regulate temperature.
Traditional foam
minutes elapsed
> Peak contact
pressure: 131.3 psi*
> 70
Long-term comfort
Tria
minutes elapsed
> Peak contact
pressure: 126.0 psi*
#19’s seat is designed to maintain comfort at
different levels of pressure and recover easily after
weight is removed. Pressure calibration happens as
soon as the user sits and is maintained over time.
This effect was verified using digital modeling tools.
#19’s seat achieves pressure equilibrium without the
need to shift body weight to unhealthy places–for
example, the underside of the front of the thigh,
which can obstruct circulation.
> 70
* x100. Measurements
are approximate.
[ fig 3: pressure mapping ]
#19’s seat also distributes and levels pressure more
evenly over larger areas than most chairs (see figure 3).
The layer of Technogel aids in this process. It reduces
pressure concentrations typical in many conventional
chairs and conforms better to the body. Technogel
moves in multiple directions as the user moves, minimizing shear stress on the skin.
Weight was applied uniformly to different types of
seats, and peak contact pressure was measured and
compared. #19’s Tria calibrated seat system proved
to distribute weight and minimize peak pressure
more effectively over time.
The chair seat feels hard the longer I sit.
T
TG
Chairs with mesh and traditional padded seats are unable to
distribute pressure as effectively and eventually lose resiliency.
#19’s Tria calibrated seat system is made up of channeled
foam, Technogel, and Tria compliant seat upholstery. The
Technogel layer (the same shock-absorbing material in bicycle
seats and running shoes) distributes pressure for a wide
range of body weights, minimizes the pulling effect on your
skin, and keeps its resiliency.
I’m often too hot or cold while I work.
V
T
#19 is designed with the unprecedented ability to manage
temperature. The back material, VenTech, is a multi-dimensional weave that holds warmth while remaining breathable.
And the seat technology, Tria, dissipates heat buildup so you
never feel too hot or cold as you work. The channeled foam
pumps air through the seat; working with the breathable Tria
compliant upholstery, it keeps you at a comfortable temperature as long as you’re seated.
I don’t understand all of these levers and knobs.
DF
P
#19 can be fully adjusted using only a few intuitively designed
controls. The shape of the pneumatic height adjustment and
tilt limiting levers indicate their direction of movement, so
adjustment is both simple and spontaneous. The Plexus
lumbar support can be positioned while seated. With #19,
detailed user instructions are not necessary.
My chair rolls on hardwood but not carpet.
DF
#19’s 80mm diameter casters are custom designed to work
on any flooring surface, including hardwood, carpet, cement,
and tile. Mobility is never compromised by the type of floor
you’re on. The casters will not scratch or gouge delicate
flooring surfaces, like hardwood.
Form was more than an
aesthetic consideration–it
was a necessity. Even the
casters were custom designed.
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Avatar–a healthier sit
When reclining in #19, the body angle increases, and so does
circulation. This delivers blood and oxygen to the extremities,
and prevents fatigue and discomfort. In its fully reclined position,
#19 leans back 30º from upright. The back of the seat gently
rises, creating a back-to-seat ratio of 4:1, more than any other
chair. The lift of the seat also provides additional pelvic support
and ensures proper alignment of the spine. Avatar creates a
better body angle that optimizes circulation with minimal user
effort. In addition, Avatar keeps the user’s line of sight steady
during recline.
4:1
[ avatar ]
Plexus–lower back support
The Plexus lumbar system creates lower back support by
increasing fabric tension and firmness over a vertical range of
3.25". A sliding component tenses the contoured fabric and can
be easily adjusted while the user is seated. Because lower back
support comes from fabric tension and not an added structural
element, the breathability and thermal properties of the
VenTech weave are uninterrupted.
[ plexus ]
Tria–calibrated comfort
#19’s seat incorporates two layers of foam, Technogel, and Tria
compliant seat upholstery. Together, they distribute pressure
evenly and take away heat buildup. The layer of Technogel rests
on top of a channeled base foam. Technogel’s purpose is to
distribute pressure evenly over a greater area and reduce peak
pressure points. It also moves in multiple directions as the user
moves, reducing shear stress on the skin. The channeled foam
allows air to circulate through the seat, dissipating heat for
optimal temperature. And the Tria compliant upholstery, made of
a double layer of interlocking loops, fits to the seat without glue.
It conforms perfectly to the cushion and allows it to breathe.
[ tria ]
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120.25
PROBLEMS SOLVED
A
I have to adjust my chair’s tension in order to recline.
#19’s passive recline is weight-activated. When pressure is
applied to the back, it reclines easily and fluidly, and the back
of the seat rises gently while perfectly balancing the user. This
simultaneous motion is enabled by Avatar’s synchronizing link
located under the seat towards the back. Avatar is designed
to be smooth and silent, and minimize muscle strain.
My back is not properly supported when I work.
A
FBC
A
A
4:1
4:1
DF
#19’s perfectly balanced recline motion, Avatar, lifts the pelvis
during recline, maintaining your line of sight to the worksurface. The back also moves independently of the armrests,
which remain in position to support your arms. No matter
which recline position you’re in, you can continue to work
easily and naturally.
The lumbar support is uncomfortable and
difficult to adjust.
P
FBC
Plexus, #19’s lumbar system, does not position a solid object
at your back. Instead, a mechanism moves up and down the
chair’s flexible back carrier, tensing the VenTech fabric where
you need it. Your back receives solid, pliant support in just
the right place.
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DESIGN FEATURE
TG
Moving while you work is healthy. Ideally, your chair should
facilitate natural motion. #19’s Avatar technology uses your
body’s weight and motion to find the best ergonomic position. When you recline fully, the back-to-seat ratio is 4:1. This
angle enhances circulation to your extremities, so your lower
body and legs never feel fatigued.
As I recline, I must continually refocus.
4:1 BACK-TO-SEAT RATIO
DF
P
V
V
AVATARTM
4:1
FBC
#19 ensures your spine and pelvis get exceptional, continuous support. This is the result of: (1) the weight-activated
Avatar motion, which keeps the chair’s back with you as you
move; (2) a flexible back carrier, which is pliable to pressure
and attached with ball joints for flexibility; and (3) the VenTech
weave, which conforms to your shape in every position.
My chair doesn’t allow me to shift or change
positions comfortably.
A
FLEXIBLE BACK CARRIER
PLEXUS TM
TECHNOGEL®
T
TRIATM
V
VENTECH TM
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[ part 4 ]
[ part 3 ]
[ part 2 ]
[ part 1 ]
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[ fig 2: anatomy of #19]
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[ part 9 ]
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[ part 8 ]
[ part 7 ]
[ part 6 ]
[ part 5 ]
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avatar aluminum seat structure
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avatar vertical aluminum
back supports
Link the back of the chair structurally to the seat and provide
support for the flexible back carrier. Ball joints, the connection
point for the back material, allow the back of the chair to rotate
freely as the user moves.
Allows the seat and back to pivot together for easy recline, and
creates an instant center of motion based on the natural rotation of the hip. A 4:1 back-to-seat ratio enhances circulation.
Supports the seat contour panel and is linked to the Avatar
system by the synchronizing link. It also provides seat depth
functionality and incorporates the tilt limiting action.
Provides solid structural support for the other components of
the Avatar system, as well as the aluminum arm supports.
Controls the recline motion in one of three positions: upright work
(11º), relaxed work (20º), and free and continuous recline (30º).
Adapts to different thigh lengths with simple back-to-front
adjustability over a range of 1.5".
Provides a seat height range greater than most chairs. The 17"22" range (standard cylinder) and 15"-20" range (two-stage
cylinder) accommodate all body types.
Provides an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, ensures
stability, and adds beauty.
Work on any flooring surface, increasing the functionality of
the chair. The 80mm diameter size enhances mobility.
explanation + benefit
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avatar back pivot structure
avatar aluminum chassis
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tilt limiting lever
seat depth adjustment
pneumatic height
adjustment
aluminum five-star base
multi-surface casters
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part
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[ part 13 ]
[ part 12 ]
[ part 11 ]
[ part 10 ]
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aluminum arm supports
adjustable armrests
ventech thermal weave
plexus lumbar system
flexible back carrier
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Supports the VenTech thermal weave and provides flexible
support for the back structure.
#19
Creates lower back support by increasing fabric tension over a
3.25" range for firm, contoured support. Because support is
achieved through fabric tension and not a solid component, the
breathability of the VenTech material is maintained.
Forms the chair’s back and is contained within a flexible back
carrier. Breathable and thermal-regulating, it ensures a steady
temperature slightly lower than body temperature and warmer
than the environment, enhancing user productivity.
Pivot 30º inward and 15º outward, and adjust vertically 4" for
different heights, widths, and angles. Accommodate multiple
users and body types.
Provide support for the adjustable armrests and allow
maximum adjustability.
Conforms perfectly to the seat cushion and enables air circulation in and out of the seat.
Includes two layers of foam, Technogel, and Tria compliant
seat upholstery. Together, they distribute pressure evenly and
dissipate heat buildup. Technogel rests on top of the channeled
base foam to eliminate peak pressure points and minimize
shear stress on the skin.
Provides the platform for the Tria calibrated seat system.
Creates the chair’s perfectly balanced recline motion. #19 automatically balances itself with the user’s body weight to allow
easy, smooth reclining, with a maximum tilt angle of 30º.
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[ part 18 ]
tria compliant seat upholstery
tria calibrated seat system
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seat contour panel
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avatar synchronizing link
f
y
p
support for the flexible back carrier. Ball joints, the connection
point for the back material, allow the back of the chair to rotate
freely as the user moves.
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[ part 17 ]
[ part 16 ]
[ part 15 ]
[ part 14 ]
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back supports
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THE BODY IN MOTION
Movement is critical to maintaining body health. The level of
ease a user experiences when changing positions correlates to
how often he or she moves throughout the day. #19’s self-balancing,
passive recline motion and smooth recline-support-return action
encourage movement and promote a continuously healthy sit.
Spine
When you go from a standing to a sitting position, the natural
curvature of the spine changes and the pelvis tilts. A welldesigned ergonomic chair, like #19, maintains that natural curvature and provides constant, conforming support, cradling the
spine in its natural position. This means there is less stress on the
spine, and you don’t pay a price, in terms of comfort and health,
while sitting.
Hip joint
As we shift postures from sitting forward to sitting back, the body
pivots naturally at the hip joint. #19 has been designed to do the
same thing. It maintains the spine’s curvature, and the chair’s
perfectly balanced recline gives the user fluid, smooth movement
from one position to the next, minimizing muscle strain in the
back and abdominal muscles. #19 encourages continual motion,
which is ideal, since the best posture is a variety of postures
throughout the workday.
[ fig 4]
#19 maintains the spine’s
curvature and gives the user
fluid, smooth movement
from one position to the next.
Anthropometrics
People vary in shape and size. We wanted #19 to fit the smallest
female as well as the largest male. It also had to accommodate
the relative proportions of the different parts of their bodies. #19
takes these factors into account by incorporating adjustableheight, pivoting arms, a seat height adjustment from 17"-22"
(standard cylinder) or 15"-20" (two-stage cylinder), a seat depth
range of 1.5", and a lumbar support range of 3.25".
[ based on interviews with: Dr. Malcolm Pope, Director, Liberty/Worksafe Research Center; Head of
Ergonomics Section, University of Aberdeen, Scotland ]
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SUSTAINABILITY
Background
[ durability ]
Prior to the development of #19, our teams had been
trained in life-cycle analysis, which looks at the overall
impact a material has from the time it’s mined to the
time it’s finished its useful life. They also understood
biomimicry, which takes inspiration and guidance from
nature’s design solutions. By the time #19 came along,
we were ready to make environmentally conscious
decisions. It wasn’t a matter of, “Do this,” but rather,
“How can we do this?” As a result, we followed a hierarchy of recycling that uses a minimum number of
materials in the product. #19’s frame and base are
made from 100% post-consumer recycled aluminum;
88% of the materials in the chair are recyclable.
#19 was rigorously tested to measure its durability
and functionality over time, and under different
conditions. The chair withstood maximum
loads for more than 100,000 cycles, assuring its
performance in the field. The casters were loaded
with 300 pounds and run over bump strips for 95
miles to ensure integrity. Testing chair prototypes
on different surfaces–carpet, tile, hardwood–
guaranteed the casters would be appropriate for all
flooring surfaces.
Content
#19 is weight-activated. As you go from reclining to
sitting upright, the back stays with you. This
action was put through hundreds of thousands of
test cycles to make sure it performed consistently.
#19’s recline action is extremely smooth and will
remain this way after years of use.
#19 uses a minimum number of different materials,
including aluminum, steel, and some polymers.
Materials are joined in a way that makes them easy to
disassemble for recycling. Being able to recycle nearly
all the materials in the chair is a critical end-of-life issue.
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Assembly
How a product is assembled is crucial to recyclability.
If it’s glued and welded, it is difficult to reconfigure
later. Individual components also can’t be separated.
By using simple mechanical fasteners, components
can be disassembled and/or traded. For example, the
entire Tria seat system and flexible back carrier are
attached to the frame with simple fasteners and can
be easily disengaged and re-attached. The benefit of
using mechanical fasteners rather than gluing or welding
is that it doesn’t generate potentially hazardous waste
in the workplace. In the end, nearly everything that
goes into #19 can be disassembled and returned to
the resource stream for reuse in another form.
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[ based on interviews with: Scott Lesnet, Environmental Manager, Allsteel ]
Air quality
The chair’s emissions are tested by placing it in a large stainless
steel box. The contaminants in the air are measured before the
chair goes in and after it comes out. We measure for a tremendous number of contaminants and then separate them into
different chemical classes, as well as individual compounds. We’re
able to measure emissions off-gassing in parts per billion; one
part per billion is the equivalent of one penny to $100,000. The
testing reveals very, very low-level emissions and ensures #19
meets stringent indoor air quality standards.
Extendability
Another one of #19’s important features is that it’s designed
for an extendable life. The frame and base are so strong and
dependable, chairs can be rebuilt on them. In that sense, #19
could be the last chair you’re ever going to need. It’s available in
two powder-coat colors. Powder-coating is essentially a non-emitting process that provides a solid, durable product.
[ fig 5 ]
Biomimicry takes inspiration from nature
and applies it to design challenges. The more
a product looks and functions like the natural
world, the more likely we are to understand
and use it.
As Allsteel develops new components and technologies, the chair
can be upgraded. This is extendable life. It’s far more efficient to
use a product for its original design function than to recycle it
when you no longer need it.
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Result
[ right-sized ]
#19 is the culmination of the changes that have been happening
at Allsteel over the past few years. It’s not just about the chair, it’s
about the philosophy that went into it. It involves careful materials
selection, waste elimination, judicious design options, intended
customer use, future customer use, and end-of-life management,
all at the same time.
The Allsteel team wanted the production of
#19 to be as sustainable as the materials
used to build the chair. This led to the
creation of an inventive, U-shaped platform
for the chair’s construction. No automated
belts are needed; assembly begins with the
casters and base, and the chair rolls around
the platform during production. Parts are
delivered to the assembly site using their own
weight. In total, #19’s production uses only
110 volts of electricity to operate the work cell.
Fewer resources in production mean the environment is taxed less.
This is the first time Allsteel has designed an entire product from the
ground up with an extendable life. And this is just the beginning.
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Our commitment
As new features are developed, #19 can be easily
upgraded, minimizing manufacturing’s demand on the
environment and extending the life of the chair.
Every part is fully covered by the #19 Lifetime Warranty.
That means #19 will fulfill its design function as long as
your workplace needs it. And if you so choose, Allsteel
will take back your #19 at the end of its useful life.
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This is Allsteel’s commitment to life cycle responsibility.
Recycled material content
Material
% by weight
Recycled content
End-of-life management*
Aluminum
61%
100% post-consumer
Recycle
Nylon/plastic 20%
polymer
21% post-industrial
Recycle where possible,
landfill if necessary
Steel
7%
30% post-industrial/
post-consumer
Recycle
Misc.
12%
NA
Not easily disassembled
components
Corrugated
packaging
NA
74% average
Recycle
*Allsteel complies with the Federal Trade Commission’s Part 260 Guide for the
Use of Environmental Marketing Claims. Product recyclability depends on local
recycling programs.
Indoor air emissions
#19 meets the requirements of:
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State of Washington–office seating
Title VI of the 1990 Clean Air Act
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)–indoor air guidelines
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Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)–formaldehyde
World Health Organization (WHO)–formaldehyde
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED–CI)–office seating
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Additionally, #19 meets or exceeds the following:
ANSI/BIFMA
State of California Tech. Bulletin 117 and 133–flammability
GreenguardTM–registered
For more information about #19, visit allsteeloffice.com/number19
Allsteel Inc.
Muscatine, Iowa 52761-5257
allsteeloffice.com
Form # A7322 (08/02)
Printed in USA
©2002 Allsteel Inc.
Allsteel is a registered
trademark and #19, Avatar,
Plexus, Purposeful Design,
Tria and VenTech are
trademarks. Technogel is
a registered trademark of
Otto Bock Orthopaedische
Industrie GmbH Co.
Greenguard is a trademark
of Air Quality Sciences.
Product meets or exceeds
ANSI/BIFMA performance
standards for business
and institutional furniture,
and is backed by the
Allsteel Lifetime Warranty.
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