Adhesive wear characteristics of 4147 Al/B4C, 10, 15 and 20 wt.% B4C particle and Al/SiC metal matrix composites 20 wt.% SiC contain produced by liquid metallurgy have been investigated under the dry sliding conditions and their wear behaviours are compared with 4147 Al/SiC-reinforced 20 wt.% SiC. The results showed that the wear resistance of Al/B4C matrix increases considerably with increasing wt.% B4C particle content in Al alloy matrix. When Al alloy matrix material is in severe adhesive-abrasive wear, the Al/B4C composites are in light-mild adhesive wear stage at the same wear condition. B4C content and its behaviour in Al matrix is determined factor for wear rate and mechanism of the MMC. The relationship between the wear resistance and wear mechanism is also observed, and it depends on soakabality of B4C particle by the matrix. When Al/B4C wear behaviour is compared with Al/SiC MMC, Al/SiC wear resist is high, and the worn sample of Al/SiC only shows a light adhesive wear traces at the same conditions. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.