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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

June, 2005

Federal Standard 595 to RAL

Q. Can you please advise where we may obtain a chart/info on matching the 595 colors to the RAL equivalent. We are based in Belgium and require to repaint US Govt gas cylinders in apropriate colors, but due to strict environmental requirements in EU most US paints are not approved here. I would appreciate your assistance.

A. Your e-mail was forwarded to me by Mr. Ron Joseph.

To my knowledge, there is no chart that matches FED-STD-595B chips to RAL. Are you looking for RAL Classic or RAL Design numbers?

If it is the former, RAL Classic, which comprises about 210 color chips, the chances of finding close matches are very low, and I do not recommend this solution. On the other hand, it is straightforward to find a RAL Design "number" using FED-STD-595B chips and a spectrometer; however, finding an exact RAL Design chip is also not likely, even if there are 1688 of them, but we can specify a few chips located "around" the ideal value.

Also, it is important to know what is the color matching accuracy (maximum color difference) required by your contract. This is often expressed as a DeltaE*ab value (i.e. CIELAB color difference), but other formulas may be used, such as CIE94, with a specified Illuminant (D50, D65, etc.) and an Observer (2 or 10 degrees).

If RAL Design is OK with you, we could recommend close equivalents. Since you seem to have many colors to match, and since there is some time involved, I will submit a quote for this work if you desire.

Best regards,

Danny Pascale

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