RAL is a colour matching system found in Europe which is created and administrated by the German RAL gGmbH (RAL non-profit LLC), which is a subsidiary of the German RAL Institute. In colloquial speech RAL means the RAL Classic system, mainly employed for varnish and powder coating but nowadays you can find reference panels for plastics also. Approved RAL items are provided with a hologram as of early 2013 to make unauthorised versions hard to produce. Imitations may show different hue and colour when observed under various light sources.
RAL Colour Charts are perfect for use in reference to pick a suitable colour for painting using powder coat colours although other tools such as RAL Colour Swabs and RAL Colour Control Cards tend to be more useful.
A RAL Colour Chart is perfect for hanging on the wall for general reference and for use when discussing power coating colours over the phone. However, they are not suitable for utilization in the workshop, especially should they be pinned to the wall. This is when RAL Colour Swabs and Control Cards are available in.
A RAL Shade Swab is a fan of colour coated plastic with every fan detailing an alternative RAL Tone & Colour. This fan is ideal for use within the task shop in addition to off site and also at a customers factory when discussing important powder coating decisions. The RAL Shade Swab can be put with an item to provide a far more accurate representation in the intended finished powder coating for me put on the metal component. Most Swabs have several hundred colours to them offering an entire variety of colours, shades and tones available as powder coated finishes, and also the RAL Swab will help you to determine the preffered choice of powder coated finish.
However, the limitations of the RAL Shade & Colour Swabs are nearly as tight as the ones from the RAL Tone Charts pinned towards the office wall. The little Swab tabs that are generally only 100mm long and 40mm wide usually do not provide an exact colour match, merely a close representation. This is where a RAL Colour Control Card is needed.
The Color Control Card is a large specially prepared colour coated card prepared through the paint manufacturer. powder coating Colour Cards give you a ideal match up against the manufacturers paint and may be kept as reference for later colour matching exercises. RAL Coating Cards are compatible with permanent colour references for technical documentation along with legal contract referencing. Whilst all colours might vary slightly as a result of changing powder coating environments and respective nacmlk regimes, the Ral Shade Card is considered the definitive reference for paint matching against RAL Powder Coating Colours.
Ral Colour Swabs can be purchased in the K7 format which shows 5 colours per fan finger, and therefore is actually a cheaper fan type as well as the K5 which has more fan fingers all of which can be focused on a single RAL tone, shade or colour. Ral Colour Charts are available for purchase on the C&S Processing website at great rates.
In 1927 the German Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung (Imperial Commission for Delivery Terms and Quality Assurance) invented an accumulation of forty colours beneath the name of “RAL 840”. Prior to that date manufacturers and customers had to exchange samples to explain a tint, whereas from that point on they could depend on numbers.
Within the 1930s the numbers were changed uniformly to four digits as well as the collection was renamed to “RAL 840 R” (R for revised). With tints constantly put into the collection, it had been revised again in 1961 and changed to “RAL 840-HR”, which includes 210 colours and is also in use for this day. In the 1960s the colours were given supplemental names in order to avoid confusion in case of transposed digits.
As “RAL 840-HR” covered only matte paint the 1980s saw the invention of “RAL 841-GL” for glossy surfaces, confined to 193 colours. A main criterion for colours in the RAL Classic collection is to be of “paramount interest”. Therefore, the majority of the colours within it are employed on warning and traffic signs or are dedicated to government departments and public services (for example: RAL 1004 – Swiss Postal Service, RAL 1021 – Austrian Postal Service, RAL 1032 – German Postal Service).