RAL is a colour matching system used 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 utilized for varnish and powder coating but nowadays you can find reference panels for plastics also. Approved RAL goods are provided with a hologram as of early 2013 to make unauthorised versions difficult to produce. Imitations may show different hue and colour when observed under various light sources.
RAL Colour Charts are ideal for use in reference to choose an appropriate colour for painting using powder coat colours although other tools like RAL Colour Swabs and RAL Colour Control Cards are frequently more useful.
A RAL Colour Chart is perfect for hanging on the wall for general reference as well as for use when discussing power coating colours over the telephone. However, they are not perfect for use in the workshop, especially should they be pinned towards the wall. This is when RAL Colour Swabs and Control Cards come in.
A RAL Shade Swab is keen on colour coated plastic with each fan detailing a different RAL Tone & Colour. This fan is great for use within the work shop in addition to off site and also at a customers factory when discussing important powder coating decisions. The RAL Shade Swab may be placed upon 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 on them offering a total variety of colours, shades and tones available as powder coated finishes, as well as the RAL Swab will assist you to determine the preffered collection of powder coated finish.
However, the limitations in the RAL Shade & Colour Swabs are almost as tight as those of the RAL Tone Charts pinned for the office wall. The little Swab tabs which are generally only 100mm long and 40mm wide usually do not present an exact colour match, just a close representation. Here is where a RAL Colour Control Card is necessary.
The Color Control Card is actually a large specially prepared colour coated card prepared by the paint manufacturer. powder coating Colour Cards offer a ideal match up against the manufacturers paint and will be kept as reference for later colour matching exercises. RAL Coating Cards are suitable for permanent colour references for technical documentation in addition to legal contract referencing. Whilst all colours might vary slightly due to 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 found in the K7 format which shows 5 colours per fan finger, and thus is actually a cheaper fan type along with the K5 that has more fan fingers every one of which can be dedicated to a single RAL tone, shade or colour. Ral Colour Charts are accessible for purchase over 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 a selection of forty colours underneath the name of “RAL 840”. Before that date manufacturers and customers were required to exchange samples to describe a tint, whereas from that point on they might count on numbers.
In the 1930s the numbers were changed uniformly to four digits and the collection was renamed to “RAL 840 R” (R for revised). With tints constantly put into the collection, it was revised again in 1961 and changed to “RAL 840-HR”, which includes 210 colours and is used to this day. Within the 1960s the colours were given supplemental names to avoid confusion in the 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 within the RAL Classic collection is to be of “paramount interest”. Therefore, a lot of the colours in it are employed on warning and traffic signs or are focused on government agencies and public services (for instance: RAL 1004 – Swiss Postal Service, RAL 1021 – Austrian Postal Service, RAL 1032 – German Postal Service).