The classic RAL color chart consists of over 200 color variations. The basic collection for matt color shades is the RAL 840-HR color list, and for gloss paints list RAL 841-GL.
These two basic lists, RAL 840-HR and RAL 841-GL, also include a wide range of colors which are used by important institutions or are used for special purposes and are of interest generally, e.g. British Racing Green is RAL 6005 Moss green. These color collections cover a broad spectrum.
This comprehensive colour system, which was developed for decorative design with colours in 1993, contains 1625 body colours. The colour nuances are arranged systematically and defined colourimetrically. It is the ideal tool for designers, advertising agencies and architects all over the world.
The products of the RAL DESIGN system include fans with all 1625 colour shades, which are in a protective box. All 1625 colour tones are also listed in the colour atlas.
The D8 Box offers a colour overview in a box with eight compartments. For designers in the field of health the colour fan with the 120 RAL DESIGN colours is a good choice. The colour samples of all RAL DESIGN colours are also available in single sheets.
In contrast to the RAL CLASSIC colours, RAL DESIGN COLOURS do not have names, but only a number that indicates the exact place in the colour space. The first three digits designate the colour tone, the first pair of digits stands for the brightness, while the second pair of digits defines the chromaticity. For achromatic greys H = 0, the leading zeros are not omitted. If the zeros were omitted there would be a high risk of confusion with the CLASSIC RAL colours.
The system of the RAL DESIGN colours was determined by the CIE in 1976. Since then a worldwide valid system for colour measurement has been used.
Colors used for camouflage purposes are not included in the RAL CLASSIC collection and are listed separately. For example, the colors used by the German army are typically bronze-green 6031 F9 and 6031 HR. Other camouflage colors include 8027 F9 leather-brown and 9021 F9 tar-black.
All RAL colors have been integrated into the RAL DIGITAL software. The digital CLASSIC, DESIGN and EFFECT RAL color ranges offer almost unlimited creative possibilities and is available as both computer graphics and as CAD program.
The term color tolerance means the permissible deviation that the supplied paint or the delivered item can have compared to the RAL color specification. End-users who order large amounts of RAL paints have the advantage of having skilled and specialized staff at their side who can inspect the paints.
In addition, professional staff lay down binding limits when it comes to the individual colors.
Customers who order smaller amounts of RAL paints often do not have the special equipment necessary to assess the colors. Smaller companies frequently work as sub-contractors and it can sometimes happen that the final combination of parts have different colored surfaces. This primarily affects manufacturers of metal construction parts who either paint the metal parts themselves or who order them pre-painted.
Color differences can sometimes arise due to the particular surface structure of the material. The method used to apply the coat can also have an effect on the color appearance. The appearance of a particular color applied via spraying is not always identical to when applied using powder coating techniques for example. Unfortunately, limiting the number of RAL colors does not necessarily help, since some color deviation is tolerated in certain product areas. In order to avoid color deviations, it is best to order from suppliers who have the special color measuring equipment at their disposal.