What is a RAL Colour?
RAL colours are colours within a European colour matching system that defines the colours for many elements within the building and construction industry including paint, coatings and materials such as plastics. 'RAL' is the abbreviation of German 'Reichs-Ausschub fur Lieferbedingungen und Gutesicherung' which translates as the national committee for delivery and quality assurance.
The RAL colour system is a series of standardised colours that IQ Glass use to reference the colour chosen by clients for the finish of glazing systems (such as the powder coating of framing) see our learning portal article for more information about powder coating. There are 213 RAL colours that are classed as 'Classic RAL' colours. Within these Classic RAL colours, there are 188 body colours, and various pearlescent and micaceous iron colours.
The purpose of the RAL colour system is to uniform colour finishes across paint finishes, varnishes and plastics to standardise colours and design appearance across many aspects of a build. The ability to clearly communicate the exact colour by referencing a colour through a colour coding system removes the space for the confusion caused by trying to explain a colour. The RAL Classic colours have a four-digit number beside the letters 'RAL' such as RAL 1028. The start of these four-digit codes is generated based on the following: 1 - yellow, 2 - orange, 3 - red, 4 - violet, 5 - blue, 6 - green, 7 - grey, 8 - brown and 9 are white and black shades; the other three numbers are chosen in sequence.
IQ Glass use the official RAL colours to select colour finishes for our framing sections such as the Large Sliding Glass Doors or Aluminium Casement Windows . Powder coating, which uses the official RAL colour system, is a preferable frame finish over anodising due to anodisation innate maintenance and longevity issues. For more information about the downfalls of anodised finishes read our learning article.
A whole range of colours are available through the official RAL colour system but in contemporary architecture, greys are constantly used as the preferred powder coated colour.
What colour frame should I use?
This is a common question we hear at IQ Glass. It is a question that can be posed to your architect or designer but at IQ we see a specific pattern towards a few specific RAL colours. All of these colours can be viewed in person at our ’15 Shades of Grey’ wall and our official RAL wall chart at the Courtyard Showroom at Sky House Design Centre, Amersham.