RAL is actually a colour matching system utilized 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 refers to the RAL Classic system, mainly utilized for varnish and powder coating but nowadays you can find reference panels for plastics also. Approved RAL products are supplied 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 use in reference to select a suitable colour for painting using powder coat colours although other tools such as RAL Colour Swabs and RAL Colour Control Cards are often 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 not suitable for use within the workshop, especially should they be pinned for 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 another RAL Tone & Colour. This fan is perfect for utilization in the work shop in addition to off site as well as at a customers factory when discussing important powder coating decisions. The RAL Shade Swab can be put on an item to provide a more accurate representation of the intended finished powder coating in my opinion put on the metal component. Most Swabs have several hundred colours on them offering a total range 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 in the RAL Shade & Colour Swabs are nearly as tight as those of the RAL Tone Charts pinned to the office wall. The small Swab tabs which can be generally only 100mm long and 40mm wide do not present an exact colour match, just a close representation. This is where a RAL Colour Control Card is necessary.
The Color Control Card is really a large specially prepared colour coated card prepared through the paint manufacturer. powder coating Colour Cards provide a ideal match up against the manufacturers paint and can be kept as reference for later colour matching exercises. RAL Coating Cards are suitable for permanent colour references for technical documentation along with legal contract referencing. Whilst all colours might vary slightly because 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 are available in the K7 format which shows 5 colours per fan finger, and therefore is a cheaper fan type as well as the K5 which has more fan fingers each of which is committed to just one RAL tone, shade or colour. Ral Colour Charts are for sale to 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 an accumulation of forty colours under the name of “RAL 840”. Prior to that date manufacturers and customers were required to exchange samples to describe a tint, whereas from then on they would depend on numbers.
Inside 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 added to the collection, it had been revised again in 1961 and changed to “RAL 840-HR”, which includes 210 colours and it is in use to this particular day. Inside the 1960s the colours received supplemental names to avoid 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 in the RAL Classic collection is going to be of “paramount interest”. Therefore, a lot of the colours in it are used on warning and traffic signs or are dedicated to government departments and public services (for example: RAL 1004 – Swiss Postal Service, RAL 1021 – Austrian Postal Service, RAL 1032 – German Postal Service).