Table of contents
What does the abbreviation 'RAL' mean?
'RAL' is the abbreviation of 'Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung'. This name can be translated in English as 'National Commission for Delivery Terms and Quality Assurance'.Back to index
What's the history of RAL?
In 1927 the German RAL organization invented a collection of 40 colors. Prior to that date manufacturers and customers had to exchange color samples to describe a tint, whereas from then on they would rely on numbers. With tints constantly added to the collection, the collection was revised in 1961. From that moment the color system consists of 213 colors, which is still in use to this day. In the 1960s the colors were given supplemental names to avoid confusion in case of transposed digits.Back to index
How is the RAL Classic collection structured?
RAL Classic is a collection of 213 colors. 188 of them are body colors, 2 are micaceous iron colors, 5 are daylight luminous colors and 15 others are pearlescent colors.Back to index
How are the designations of the RAL Classic colors being formed?
The RAL Classic colors have a 4-digit number in combination with the letters 'RAL' (e.g. RAL 1028). The first digit is a system code number (1: yellow, 2: orange, 3: red, 4: violet, 5: blue, 6: green, 7: grey, 8: brown and 9: white and black shades). The remaining 3 digits are chosen sequentially. The name of a color shade (e.g. 'Melon yellow' for RAL 1028) is an auxiliary designation. For a definite identification of a color one should use both in order to avoid confusion caused by possible transposition of digits.Back to index
What does 'RAL Design' mean?
In 1993 RAL introduced a new color matching system, tailored to the needs of architects, designers and advertisers. The RAL Design collection includes 1,625 colors. The colors of RAL Classic and RAL Design do not intersect.Back to index
What does 'RAL Effect' mean?
RAL Effect comprises 420 solid colors and, as a particular highlight, 70 metallic colors. It is the first collection from RAL to be based on waterborne paint systems. No use is made of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and chromates.Back to index
What does 'RAL Plastics' mean?
RAL Plastics is the color standard for plastics. The multifunctional plates made of polypropylene ensure the best possible translation of RAL paint color shades into an identical shade for plastics. RAL Plastics P1 contains the 100 favorite RAL Classic colors. RAL Plastics P2 shows 200 RAL Design colors as a plastic standard.Back to index
Can a color from a different color system be translated into a RAL color?
It's not possible to translate the colors from one color system into another. The reason is that the colors in each color system are fixed and don't exist in other systems. You can only find similar colors by comparing different color samples.Back to index
I need to figure out in what color a physical object was painted. How do I do that?
We recommend to compare the color of the object with the color samples in a physical color fan deck. Please note that it can be a RAL color or a color from a different color system which is used by an individual paint manufacturer for example. You should also take into account that the color on the object could have faded over time. RAL offers an electronic device which selects a RAL color by 'scanning' the object. See the RAL ColorCatch Nano on the website of RAL for more information.Back to index
Why is the color display of RAL 9006 and 9007 inaccurate?
There is one major difference on RAL 9006 and RAL 9007 from the rest of the 213 RAL Classic colors, which are all opaque colors in different hues suitable for all colored materials. With every new edition these color samples can be produced within a very precise tolerance. This does not hold true for RAL 9006 and RAL 9007.
Both colors originate from the corrosion protection program of the former Reichsbahn (German state railway). They were mandatory for corrosion protection of steelwork (train stations, bridges etc.) and rolling stock (roofs etc.). The colors also had similar functions in the former German air force and navy. They were never intended to be used for decorative purposes. RAL 9006 is essentially produced using aluminum particles, and RAL 9007 with iron oxide in a layered structure with small amounts of aluminum powder. The Reichsbahn registered all its colors with RAL to enable it to use them as references when placing orders. Therefore RAL 9006 and RAL 9007 were included, but since the 1970's their inclusion has led to misunderstandings.
Recently metallic colors have become popular for all sorts of architectural uses (window frames, shop floors etc). RAL 9006 and RAL 9007 were then used by the market to indicate requirements, even though there was no uniform finish in existence for the standards. In addition, both colors need a transparent layer in order to use them for decorative surfaces. This often results in a classification as a special coating at a special price level. Problems often occur when RAL 9006 and RAL 9007 are specified, when the use combines coatings of various types (paint, varnish, powder coatings). Differences in color are very common. Therefore RAL recommends the use of RAL 9006 and RAL 9007 for corrosion protection only and not for decorative purposes.Back to index
Where can I find more information on RAL?
For more information on the RAL color system and/or the RAL organization we recommend to visit the website of RAL at RAL.de.Back to index
What are HEX codes?
Wikipedia has the following description on HEX color codes: "A HEX triplet is a six-digit, three-byte hexadecimal number used in HTML, CSS, SVG, and other computing applications to represent colors. The bytes represent the Red, Green and Blue components of the color. One byte represents a number in the range 00 to FF (in hexadecimal notation), or 0 to 255 in decimal notation. This represents the least (0) to the most (255) intensity of each of the color components." You can find more information on HEX codes and web colors on Wikipedia.Back to index
What are RGB codes?
Wikipedia uses the following description of RGB codes: "The RGB color model is an additive color model in which Red, Green and Blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colors: Red, Green and Blue. The main purpose of the RGB color model is for the sensing, representation and display of images in electronic systems, such as televisions and computers." More information on RGB codes can be found on Wikipedia.Back to index
What are CMYK codes?
The abbreviation 'CMYK' stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and BlacK (or Key) and is mainly used for printing inks. A large number of colors can be made by mixing these 4 basic colors. The CMYK code of a color indicates the coverage rate of the 4 inks that are needed to obtain that color. More information about CMYK can be found on Wikipedia.Back to index
How many colors do the RAL K7 and RAL K5 color fan deck contain?
Both RAL color fan decks contain all 213 colors of the RAL Classic collection. The RAL K5 color fan deck has larger color samples than the RAL K7. Each page of the RAL K7 color fan deck contains 5 colors; the RAL K5 features one full page for each color.Back to index
Do you also sell individual RAL color swatches?
We don't have individual RAL color samples in stock. In general it's a better idea to order a RAL color fan deck which includes all 213 RAL Classic colors. Individual color samples are quite expensive; we don't offer them for sale.Back to index
Do you sell RAL paint?
We don't sell RAL paint; we only offer RAL color fan decks for sale. We recommend to contact a local paint supplier to order RAL paint. Almost all DIY stores ('Do It Yourself') have RAL paint in stock or are able to mix the required paint for you.Back to index
Is a discount possible when purchasing a large quantity of RAL color fan decks?
This depends on the desired quantity. Please contact us for more information.Back to index
Are you able to supply personalized RAL color fan decks to my company?
Yes, we can supply you with customized RAL K7 color fan decks. This means you can have RAL K7 color wheels with your own front cover. We can take care of the design of the front cover for you (based on your instructions) or you can send us a custom made PDF file. Please contact us for more information.Back to index
What about the VAT on your invoices?
VAT is always shown on our invoices for The Netherlands and also on invoices for countries in the European Union when a VAT number has not been provided. Are you located in The Netherlands? Then we will charge 21% VAT. Is your company located in the European Union, except The Netherlands? If you enter your valid European VAT number during ordering, we will not charge VAT.Back to index
Could you send me my invoice (again)?
If you contact us, we can send you your invoice manually by e-mail.Back to index
When will I receive my order?
When you add one or more products to your cart on the ordering page, you can continue to the checkout screen. On this screen you can select the country to see the estimated number of days it takes to receive the order at your address. We ship orders as fast as possible; during all business days.Back to index
Can I cancel my order?
You can find the answer to this question on the Returns page.Back to index
Can I return the product(s) which I have ordered?
You can find the answer to this question on the Returns page.Back to index
I want to file a complaint. How do I do that?
You can find the answer to this question on the Complaints page.Back to index