Ral Shade Card – Common Questions..

RAL is a colour matching system used in Europe that is created and administrated by the German RAL gGmbH[1] (RAL non-profit LLC), which is a subsidiary of the German RAL Institute. In colloquial speech RAL means the RAL Classic system, mainly used for varnish and powder coating but nowadays there are reference panels for plastics as well. 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 ideal for utilization in reference to pick an appropriate colour for painting using powder coat colours although other tools like RAL Colour Swabs and RAL Colour Control Cards are often more useful.

A RAL Colour Chart is perfect for hanging on the wall for general reference and then for use when discussing power coating colours over the telephone. However, they are certainly not ideal for utilization in the workshop, especially should they be pinned to the wall. This is where RAL Colour Swabs and Control Cards come in.

A RAL Shade Swab is keen on colour coated plastic with every fan detailing an alternative RAL Tone & Colour. This fan is ideal for utilization in the work shop as well as off site and at a customers factory when discussing important powder coating decisions. The RAL Shade Swab may be placed with an item to provide a more accurate representation from the intended finished powder coating for 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, 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 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 offer an exact colour match, merely a close representation. This is when a RAL Colour Control Card comes into play.

The Colour Control Card is really a large specially prepared colour coated card prepared by the paint manufacturer. powder coating Colour Cards provide 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 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 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 therefore is a cheaper fan type and also the K5 that has more fan fingers every one of which can be committed to one particular RAL tone, shade or colour. Ral Colour Charts are available 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 underneath the name of “RAL 840”. Prior to that date manufacturers and customers had to exchange samples to illustrate a tint, whereas from that point on they could rely on numbers.

Inside 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 put into the collection, it absolutely was revised again in 1961 and changed to “RAL 840-HR”, which contains 210 colours and it is in use to this day. Within the 1960s the colours were given supplemental names to avoid confusion in the case 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 primary criterion for colours in the RAL Classic collection will be of “paramount interest”. Therefore, most of the colours inside it are used on warning and traffic signs or are committed to government agencies and public services (for instance: RAL 1004 – Swiss Postal Service, RAL 1021 – Austrian Postal Service, RAL 1032 – German Postal Service).