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This article aims at an account of what is known about the potential for applications of quasicrystals and related compounds, the so-called family of Complex Metallic Alloys (CMAs‡). Attention is focused at aluminium-based CMAs, which comprise a large number of crystalline compounds and quasicrystals made of aluminium alloyed with transition metals (like Fe or Cu) or normal metals like Mg. Depending on composition, the structural complexity varies from a few atoms per unit cell up to thousands of atoms. Quasicrystals appear then as CMAs of ultimate complexity and exhibit a lattice that shows no periodicity anymore in the usual 3-dimensional space. Properties change dramatically with lattice complexity and turn the metal-type behaviour of simple Al-based crystals into a far more complex behaviour, with a fingerprint of semi-conductors that may be exploited in various applications, potential or realised. An account of the ones known to the author is given in the light of the relevant properties, namely light absorption, reduced adhesion and friction, heat insulation, reinforcement of composites for mechanical devices, and few more exotic ones. The role played by the search for applications of quasicrystals in the development of the field is briefly addressed in the concluding section.
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