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Specialist information on the RAL color systems and additional downloads

RAL CLASSIC color collection with 213 colors
90 years ago (in April 1927) various industrial and consumer associations, state bodies and representatives of the paint industry agreed on 40 color shades. These colors were entrusted to the RAL in 1927, at that time the "Reichsausschuss für Lieferbedingungen", with the obligation to monitor these colors and to ensure that color samples were always available.
In close cooperation with the coatings and paint industry, further colors were standardized in the following years. After the end of World War II, there were already over a hundred RAL colors. In the early fifties, there was a revision of the RAL color register, in which a consensus of a number of shades was taken out. Today, the color register is offered under the name RAL 840-HR and has now grown to 213 colors.
In addition to the RAL 840-HR color collection - today better known as CLASSIC - RAL has always also created its own color collections. In the past, for example, this was the color pattern card FUKA, a compilation of corporate colors, or RAL automotive paints, a collection of automotive colors, both of which have long been discontinued.
The color collection RAL Classic currently includes 213 colors, of which 188 body colors, 2 mica colors (rust protection), 5 luminous colors and 15 pearlescent colors. Each color is assigned a four-digit number, whereby the respective color group can be identified by the first digit:
1 yellow, 2 orange, 3 red, 4 purple, 5 blue, 6 green, 7 gray, 8 brown, 9 black or white.
The following three digits are consecutively assigned, with gaps not being reoccupied by distant hues. In order to avoid confusion by numerical twisters each hue also has a significant name z. B. RAL 3014 old rose.
RAL Classic is a collection of colors, the arrangement of the colors does not follow any system.
The main registers RAL 840-HR and RAL 841-GL are the two registers that contain the binding color schemes (for color adjustments / formulation and quality control) for the RAL CLASSIC colors in the form of single cards. RAL 9006 and 9007 are anticorrosion paints and not suitable as a template for decorative coatings.
As a working tool, there are different color fans and color charts, all colors are also available as a single sheet.
Note: All products of the RAL CLASSIC Color Collection are high quality color samples with original varnish on special paper.

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RAL EFFECT color collection with 490 colors since 2007
RAL EFFECT was specially developed for decorative applications of effect paints in industrial and product design. Due to the increasing demand for water-based paint systems, the color references of the RAL EFFECT color collection are produced with the corresponding paints. Design of the color samples as a lacquer finish on paper: 420 plain colors semi-matt on water-soluble basis and 70 metallic colors high-gloss on acrylic base. Only a few pigments were used for the formulation of the colors in order to enable the industry to achieve a metamerism-poor color adjustment.
RAL Effect offers, in 70 color groups, 420 plain colors with an additional 70 combinable metallic shades. Each color group with 6 solid shades has a conformal metallic color. Each color group consists of a three-digit color code - the individual color tones of the color group are additionally numbered 1-6. The matching metallic color also consists of the three-digit color code and the letter M at the end (for example, solid color: RAL 620-3, matching metallic color: RAL 620-M).
The RAL Effect colors were introduced in 2007 for the first time, there are different color fans, a register box and all colors are also available as a single sheet DIN A6.
Tip: The metallic colors can also work very well with the body colors from other color systems, such as NCS or RAL design.
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RAL DESIGN color system with currently 1825 standard colors since 1993
At the beginning of 1993, after about two years of development, the RAL DESIGN system with 1688 colors was first presented to the public. In 2007, the color system was reworked, taking out 89 dark colors and adding 26 new pastel colors.
In 2018, the color system for the 25th anniversary was extended by 200 new colors and all colors are given color names. The new system is called RAL DESIGN SYSTEM plus. 
The designation of the RAL DESIGN color pattern is rather a seven-digit coding. It also indicates the position of the colors in the CIE color space and in the RAL DESIGN color atlas and consists of three groups of numbers.
The first group of numbers is the angle of the cylindrical coordinates of the CIE color space and specifies the hue H (010 to 360) and is also the page number in the atlas.
The middle group of numbers is the measure of the brightness (theor. 100 for white to 0 for absolute black), which is found in the CIE color space on the vertical axis of brightness. In the color atlas, the brightness on each page increases from bottom to top with each line, so the color patterns in a row have the same brightness (Lightness L).
The last number group of the RAL DESIGN code indicates the chroma C, which increases in the CIE color space from the central gray axis to the outside. In the color atlas, the chroma therefore increases in each line from left to right.
Due to the even distribution of the 1825 standard colors across the entire color space, the RAL DESIGN color system is often used by both color manufacturers and color planners. It is both a scientific and creative tool. The direct relationship between metrological color values ​​and color designation makes it a mediator between technicians and creatives.
There are numerous and useful tools available for various tasks and all colors are also available as individual color samples. RAL DESIGN finds e.g. Application in architecture, product design, monument protection in the furniture industry and many other industrial sectors.
Note: All products of the RAL DESIGN color system are high quality color references.

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RAL Plastics P1 and P2 color standard for plastics since 2010
RAL PLASTICS was developed for the plastics processing industry to allow the correct adjustment of the most commonly used paint colors. Initially, 100 shades of RAL CLASSIC and 200 shades of RAL DESIGN were technically converted into a stand-alone plastic standard.
The collection consists of the product P1 with 100 commonly used colors from the RAL CLASSIC color collection and the product P2 with 200 most in demand RAL design colors, 160 opaque and 40 transparent color plates. Three grades of plate thickness allow the opacity of plastic products (3mm, 2mm and 1mm) to be assessed. In addition, three different surface structures make it possible to assess the color as a function of the roughness: highly polished, VDI 24, VDI 42. All color samples are each additionally provided with a protective cover. With additional information on absolute values, color deviation from the original pattern and remission curve, they are thus suitable for color formulation.
The material polypropylene was chosen for RAL PLASTICS. It is the most commonly used plastic, which is used in many finished products due to its balanced property profile and a very good price-performance ratio.
The technical implementation of RAL PLASTICS was carried out by the Gabriel-Chemie Group. The color plate was produced using Masterbatch with the specified article number in a defined PP-type. The information on temperature resistance and light fastness comes from laboratory tests under ideal, well-defined conditions. For application in practice, additional influences have to be considered. Guarantees for the respective end products cannot be derived from this information.
Temperature resistance [° C]: (residence time 5 minutes, DIN EN 12877) ≥ 270 ° C
Lightfastness (8-step blue wool scale) (DIN EN ISO 105-B02) ≥ 6-7
Food safe according to BfR recommendation IX / AP (89) 1
Free of: cadmium pigments, lead pigments and diaryl pigments
The RAL P1 and P2 cards are also available separately. The RAL PLASTICS color scale is to be expanded in the following years in line with market demand.
Note: The plastic sheets are high quality color samples with good agreement with the RAL colors in lacquer finish.

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Download Information on RAL PLASTICS with color lists (only in German)