What are RAL colours?

11 October 2023

The RAL colour system is significant in construction and architectural design.

Below are the key points:

  1. What is RAL? RAL is an abbreviation for "Reichs-Ausschuss für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung," which translates to the National Committee for Delivery and Quality Assurance in German. It is a European colour matching system that standardises colours used in the building and construction industry, including paint, coatings, and materials like plastics.

  2. Standardised Colour Palette: The RAL system includes a series of standardised colours, with 213 colours classified as "Classic RAL" colours. These include 188 body colours as well as various pearlescent and micaceous iron colours.

  3. Uniformity and Communication: The primary purpose of the RAL colour system is to ensure colour uniformity across different products like paints, varnishes, and plastics. This standardisation simplifies the communication of colour choices and eliminates confusion by referencing colours through a specific colour coding system.

  4. Colour Coding: RAL Classic colours are identified by a four-digit number beside the letters "RAL." The initial digit of the four-digit code represents the colour group, such as 1 for yellow, 2 for orange, and so on. The other three digits are chosen sequentially.

  5. Use in Architectural Design: Companies like IQ Glass utilise the official RAL colours to select finishes for architectural elements like framing sections, large sliding glass doors, and aluminum casement windows. Powder coating, which adheres to the RAL colour system, is often preferred over anodising due to its maintenance and longevity advantages.

  6. Prevalence of Gray Colours: In contemporary architecture, gray shades from the RAL color system are commonly used for powder coating, reflecting a trend in colour preference for architectural applications.

The RAL colour chart at Sky House for IQ Glass

The RAL colour system is a crucial tool for maintaining color consistency in the construction and architectural industries, making it easier for professionals to communicate and achieve desired colour finishes for their projects.

Are you working on a renovation project or new build and would like some guidance on RAL colours to match your scheme?Contact us today and book a showroom visit. 01494 722 880

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