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 utilized for varnish and powder coating but nowadays you will find reference panels for plastics also. Approved RAL products 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 pick the right 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 ideal for hanging on the wall for general reference as well as for use when discussing power coating colours on the phone. However, they are certainly not suitable for use within the workshop, especially should they be pinned for the wall. This is where RAL Colour Swabs and Control Cards can be found in.
A RAL Shade Swab is a fan of colour coated plastic with every fan detailing another RAL Tone & Colour. This fan is perfect for use in the work shop along with 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 more accurate representation from the intended finished powder coating to me applied to the metal component. Most Swabs have several hundred colours to them offering an entire range of colours, shades and tones available as powder coated finishes, as well as the RAL Swab will help to determine the preffered collection 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 usually do not present an exact colour match, just a close representation. This is where a RAL Colour Control Card comes into play.
The Colour Control Card is really a large specially prepared colour coated card prepared through the paint manufacturer. powder coating Colour Cards offer a ideal match up against the manufacturers paint and may be kept as reference for later colour matching exercises. RAL Coating Cards are suitable for permanent colour references for technical documentation as well as legal contract referencing. Whilst all colours might vary slightly because 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 purchased in the K7 format which shows 5 colours per fan finger, and therefore is actually a cheaper fan type along with the K5 which includes more fan fingers all of which can be dedicated to one particular 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 selection of forty colours beneath the name of “RAL 840”. Just before that date manufacturers and customers were required to exchange samples to describe a tint, whereas from that point on they might 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 included in the collection, it was revised again in 1961 and changed to “RAL 840-HR”, which includes 210 colours and is also used to 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, confined to 193 colours. A primary criterion for colours inside 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 focused on government departments and public services (for instance: RAL 1004 – Swiss Postal Service, RAL 1021 – Austrian Postal Service, RAL 1032 – German Postal Service).