RAL is a colour matching system used in Europe which is created and administrated by the German RAL gGmbH (RAL non-profit LLC), that is a subsidiary of the German RAL Institute. In colloquial speech RAL refers to the RAL Classic system, mainly employed for varnish and powder coating but nowadays there are reference panels for plastics also. Approved RAL items are furnished 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 best for utilization in reference to pick an appropriate colour for painting using powder coat colours although other tools including 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 on the phone. However, they are not suitable for use in the workshop, especially when they are pinned for the wall. This is where RAL Colour Swabs and Control Cards can be found in.
A RAL Shade Swab is keen on colour coated plastic with every fan detailing another RAL Tone & Colour. This fan is great for use in the job shop in addition to off site as well as at a customers factory when discussing important powder coating decisions. The RAL Shade Swab may be placed with an item to offer a much more accurate representation in the intended finished powder coating for me placed on the metal component. Most Swabs have several hundred colours to them offering an entire selection of colours, shades and tones available as powder coated finishes, and the RAL Swab will help to determine the preffered choice 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 little Swab tabs which are generally only 100mm long and 40mm wide do not offer an exact colour match, only a close representation. This is where a RAL Colour Control Card comes into play.
The Color Control Card is really a large specially prepared colour coated card prepared through the paint manufacturer. powder coating Colour Cards offer a ideal 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 as such is actually a cheaper fan type and also the K5 which includes more fan fingers every one of which is dedicated to just one RAL tone, shade or colour. Ral Colour Charts are accessible for purchase within 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 had to exchange samples to explain a tint, whereas from then on they would depend on numbers.
Within 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 added to the collection, it was revised again in 1961 and changed to “RAL 840-HR”, which consists of 210 colours and is being used to this day. Inside the 1960s the colours received supplemental names in order to avoid confusion in the event of transposed digits.
As “RAL 840-HR” covered only matte paint the 1980s saw the invention of “RAL 841-GL” for glossy surfaces, restricted to 193 colours. A main criterion for colours within the RAL Classic collection will be of “paramount interest”. Therefore, a lot of the colours within it are utilized on warning and traffic signs or are dedicated to government agencies and public services (for example: RAL 1004 – Swiss Postal Service, RAL 1021 – Austrian Postal Service, RAL 1032 – German Postal Service).