RAL is a colour matching system found in Europe that 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 refers to the RAL Classic system, mainly used for varnish and powder coating but nowadays there are reference panels for plastics too. Approved RAL items are supplied with a hologram as of early 2013 to make unauthorised versions challenging to produce. Imitations may show different hue and colour when observed under various light sources.
RAL Colour Charts are best for use within reference to choose an appropriate colour for painting using powder coat colours although other tools such as RAL Colour Swabs and RAL Colour Control Cards are frequently more useful.
A RAL Colour Chart is great for hanging on the wall for general reference and then for use when discussing power coating colours on the phone. However, they are not ideal for use within the workshop, especially when they are pinned for the wall. Here is where RAL Colour Swabs and Control Cards come in.
A RAL Shade Swab is a fan of colour coated plastic with each fan detailing another RAL Tone & Colour. This fan is great for use within the work shop as well as 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 offer a much more accurate representation in the intended finished powder coating to me placed on the metal component. Most Swabs have several hundred colours to them offering a total variety of colours, shades and tones available as powder coated finishes, and also the RAL Swab will help you to determine the preffered selection of powder coated finish.
However, the limitations from the RAL Shade & Colour Swabs are nearly as tight as the ones from the RAL Tone Charts pinned towards the office wall. The tiny Swab tabs which are generally only 100mm long and 40mm wide do not present an exact colour match, only a close representation. This is when a RAL Colour Control Card is needed.
The Colour Control Card is actually a large specially prepared colour coated card prepared through the paint manufacturer. powder coating Colour Cards provide a perfect match against the manufacturers paint and will be kept as reference for later colour matching exercises. RAL Coating Cards are compatible with permanent colour references for technical documentation in addition to 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 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 a cheaper fan type and also the K5 that has more fan fingers all of which can be committed to just one 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 collection of forty colours under the name of “RAL 840”. Prior to that date manufacturers and customers needed to exchange samples to describe a tint, whereas from then on they might count on numbers.
In 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 included in the collection, it absolutely was revised again in 1961 and changed to “RAL 840-HR”, which contains 210 colours and is in use for this day. Within the 1960s the colours received supplemental names to prevent 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, limited to 193 colours. A main criterion for colours in the RAL Classic collection is going to be of “paramount interest”. Therefore, a lot of the colours in it are employed on warning and traffic signs or are committed to government departments and public services (for example: RAL 1004 – Swiss Postal Service, RAL 1021 – Austrian Postal Service, RAL 1032 – German Postal Service).