Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) are now being exploited in some high volume (e.g. electronics packaging) and specialist (e.g. motor sport and cycle frames) applications. Major automotive applications the subject of intensive interest from materials suppliers (due to potential sales volumes) through to OEM's (due to the potential benefits of weight saving). The technical keys to exploitation of this family of MMC (ceramic particulate in aluminium-based matrix) in friction brake applications include temperature dependent strength, tribological performance, thermal conductivity and heat capacity with weight saving potential. For friction component applications the MMC formulation and processing with the development of a tailored counterface (pad) and where appropriate, thermal barrier coatings represent a complex and poorly understood system The aim of this project is thus to provide the basic "rules of the game" for this emerging technical area to enable wider exploitation within the automotive sector.