Cafeteria Table Stools - Product Improvement - Plastics

Mechanical FEA


Various International Locations


SICO America

General Contractor:

A large manufacturer of cafeteria tables used in schools was experiencing problems with premature cracking of the boss section of the integrated plastic stools. There was a question of whether the problems were due to high unintended loading from children rocking or standing on the stools or material fatigue from repeated loading.

This is a problem our engineers are contacted about frequently and goes beyond simply creating and running an FEA model. Our process began with discovery meetings with the manufacturer to really learn about the problems they were having, what the constraints were, and what expectations they had for a solution.

Finite element analysis was the first step and was followed by a chemical forensic analysis and physical testing to make sure the product improvement process was well informed.

An experienced engineer needs to consider the variety of loading, material characteristics, and complete load path prior to undertaking a computer analysis.

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