RAL is actually a colour matching system used in Europe that 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 means the RAL Classic system, mainly employed for varnish and powder coating but nowadays you will 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 best for utilization in reference to pick a suitable 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 great for hanging on the wall for general reference as well as for use when discussing power coating colours over the phone. However, they are certainly not perfect for use within the workshop, especially when they are pinned towards the wall. This is when RAL Colour Swabs and Control Cards can be found in.
A RAL Shade Swab is a fan of colour coated plastic with each fan detailing another RAL Tone & Colour. This fan is perfect for utilization in the job shop along with off site and also at a customers factory when discussing important powder coating decisions. The RAL Shade Swab can be put upon an item to give a 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 complete range of colours, shades and tones available as powder coated finishes, as well as the RAL Swab will assist you to determine the preffered choice of powder coated finish.
However, the limitations from the RAL Shade & Colour Swabs are almost as tight as those of the RAL Tone Charts pinned to the office wall. The little Swab tabs which can be generally only 100mm long and 40mm wide tend not to present an exact colour match, just a close representation. This is when a RAL Colour Control Card is necessary.
The Colour Control Card is actually a large specially prepared colour coated card prepared through the paint manufacturer. powder coating Colour Cards offer a perfect match from 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 found in the K7 format which shows 5 colours per fan finger, and thus is really a cheaper fan type and also the K5 which includes more fan fingers all of that is committed to a single RAL tone, shade or colour. Ral Colour Charts are for sale to 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 a selection of forty colours under the name of “RAL 840”. Just before that date manufacturers and customers had to exchange samples to illustrate a tint, whereas from that point on they might rely on numbers.
In the 1930s the numbers were changed uniformly to four digits and also 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 consists of 210 colours and is also in use for this day. In the 1960s the colours received supplemental names to prevent 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, limited to 193 colours. A main criterion for colours in the RAL Classic collection is to be of “paramount interest”. Therefore, most of the colours within it are utilized on warning and traffic signs or are committed to government agencies and public services (for example: RAL 1004 – Swiss Postal Service, RAL 1021 – Austrian Postal Service, RAL 1032 – German Postal Service).