Welcome to the world of powder coating colours
Whether we are conscious of it or not, colour has an enormous effect upon us in our daily lives. The colour you choose for your project can be brand-defining (such as Yves Klein’s iconic International Klein Blue), can reflect the trends and spirit of the times, or may be an inherent part of the design landscape, such as matching a colour to a scheme. The Eiffel Tower as we know it today is a grey-brown colour, but it has undergone a number of colour transformations in its lifetime. When it was first erected, the Eiffel Tower was painted a loud shade called “Venetian Red”. At the turn of the 20th century it was painted yellow, and did not become the brown-grey that we recognise till the 1960s. Paint manufacturers spend a lot of time and energy determining the palettes and colours that will influence the coming year, and powder coating colours are no exception.
Here we take a look at the range of powder coating colours, how a powder coating colour matching service works, and help you make the right colour choice for your project with samples and colour charts.
Powder coating colours chart – Stock and RAL colours & Colour matching
When investigating the right powder coating colour for a project you may have a specific shade in mind, or you may be looking for inspiration. Powder coating manufacturers provide tools for both these requirements. These powder coating colour tools are described below.
- Powder coating colours chart
Every manufacturer dedicates whole departments to developing their colour schemes. They pick up on the zeitgeist and transform cultural events and touchstones into palettes that will define the upcoming year. As well as a wide range of RAL colours, manufacturers’ powder coating colour charts showcase the colours and finishes they have chosen for the next year, such as Interpon’s Living Colours powder coating colour chart.
- Powder coating sample panels
Looking at a colour or gloss level on a computer screen is not ever a true representation of how it will look in the flesh. For this reason you can get free powder coating colour sample panels in the shade and gloss you are considering.
- Powder coating colour matching
Whether you have the colour of a previous product, a particular hue, a beloved red bicycle, or a piece of coloured card that you want to replicate, there are powder coating colour matching services which can reproduce them for you. If you do choose a colour matching service be aware that some shades are more difficult, and take longer, than others do.
As well as the tools above, some manufacturers have digital colour matching and visualising tools and apps. These allow you to access products, technical information, and brochures quickly and easily from your phone.
FAQ about powder coating colour
Below are some frequently-asked questions regarding powder coat colours. If you have a question we haven’t answered here, get in touch! Our experts are here to help. Whether you need professional colour matching advice, powder coating powders, or sample panels of the full range of possibilities, we are here to connect you with the right colour for your project. Simply use the “Request a Quote” button beneath this article and let us know your specifications and requirements.
What do the different gloss levels mean?
As well as a particular colour shade, a specification or enquiry should also show the gloss level required. These are matt (between 20% and 30% gloss), semi-gloss (around 60-65% gloss), and gloss (at least 80% and can be 85%).
What is the powder coating colour code used in colour charts?
The code displayed with, or attached to, the name and colour in a chart is either the powder coating colour’s RAL code, or the code used by the manufacturer. As well as the identifying cypher, powder coating colour charts will also include the Light Reflectance Value (LRV) and RGB colour codes. The RGB colour system constructs all colours from the combination of Red, Green, and Blue, giving each one a value between 0 and 255.
What should I keep in mind when choosing a colour? Are there good and bad colour choices?
Colours may behave differently during application and perform differently on site. There are some loose guidelines when trying to choose the best colour for the job:
- Think about reflectance – light colours reflect light, while dark colours absorb it. If heat build up could be an issue, opt for a light colour.
- Bright colours are more easily damaged by UV light and so may face problems with colour retention through sun exposure. Opting for bright colours where colour retention is less important or where UV exposure is less.
I need a specific colour for a project, can you manufacture it?
We can connect you with an industry leading custom colour match service, capable of matching nearly every conceivable colour from virtually any source. Whether your specific colour is an RGB, pantone or RAL value, a wet paint, or even a piece of cut off metal we can provide an accurate match.
How does powder coating colour matching work?
When you provide a sample to be colour matched, the tool most commonly used is the spectrophotometer. The spectrophotometer uses light beams at varying angles to determine the RGB values of the light reflected by a surface – in essence, its colour code. Colour experts take these readings and work to determine the best match. Factors such as LRV and special effects are also important.
Are there any colours you cannot match?
Powder coatings have a nearly endless range of colour possibilities, with new formulations being produced all the time to improve brightness and specialty effects. The only factor that can limit colour choice is performance requirements. Strongly coloured organic pigments which will fade in the sun take extra work to be brought up to the durability standards of powder coating. Certain colours may not to be possible to manufacture using certain technologies in order to maintain durability and standards. Please contact us for advice on colour matching and manufacture.