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Paint Specification

Paint Specification

Paint Specification

My company like many other machines manufactures supplies our equipment with standard paint colors.  Over the years we have been able to work with our vendors to provide paint color that is uniform throughout paint types and processes.  However we have the occasional customer that requires a specific paint color (RAL).  Whenever we change form our standard paint color to a non-standard color we run into problems with color differences.  

Can anyone provide an example of a paint specification which if given to a vendor, no matter the coating process (Powder, Enamel or Polane spray) we can consistency receive paint that matches?

Since we utilize foreign sourcing we would prefer that the specification not be brand specific.

I have attached an example of our standard paint specification but as you can see it is specific to Sherwin-Williams which may not be readily available in all areas of the world.

RE: Paint Specification

Isn't that the point of having the RAL number (or Pantone or FED STD 595B or similar?

For critical applications we'll sometimes supply 'paint chips' for them to match, and/or have them send us 'paint chips' for us to approve.

If someone has a more complete answer I might be interested too.

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RE: Paint Specification

Just to echo Kenat's posting, FED-STD-595 is actually a series of color samples, e.g., 36320 is a battleship gray, and when you ask for the specification, you get a 3" x 4" swatch of paint on cardboard.


FAQ731-376: Forum Policies

RE: Paint Specification

RAL & Pantone are similar IRstuff, RAL is German in origin I can't remember for Pantone but it's a commercial standard.

BS391C is the British equivalent to the fed std.

One problem is that certain industries and or geographic use different specs, and there isn't necessarily a direct correlation - maybe on the fed & BS but not on the commercial ones.

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RE: Paint Specification

My understanding is that Pantone, ostensibly, has a correlation with colorimeter measurements.  At least, they have instrumentation that they sell for calibrating color monitors to ensure that the color you see on the monitor is consistent with the RBG definitions in the image files being displayed.


FAQ731-376: Forum Policies

RE: Paint Specification

And in general, that's something that is doable, given the relatively low cost of a decent colorimeter.  One could, for example, take the FED-STD-595 color swatch that I have and scan it for its color coefficients and require that the paint supplier be capable of producing that color with their paint, and can maintain that color to within some tolerance over time and environment.  

As far as I know, no one in the military goes to that level, but that's possibly due to the severe environments that the paint goes through, not even counting the mud and muck, etc.


FAQ731-376: Forum Policies

RE: Paint Specification

I don't think anyone in the military goes to that effort, I've seen many and varied shades of 'saxe blue' on the same equipment from different production batches.

The colors that have meaning, such as on explosive stores, are chosen to be far enough apart from each other that even allowing for poor matching, fading etc. they are still differentiable.

So 'Saxe Blue' for flight worth practice stores which may have low explosive in them, is a long way from 'Oxford Blue' that should be totally inert, ground use only, drill rounds.

The coloromiter should get you most of the way there but I don't know how the other visual effects play into things.

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What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

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