A plan of experiments based on the combined techniques using orthogonal arrays and analysis of variance was employed on tribological behaviour of metal matrix and its composite, in a pin-on-disc machine using SiC abrasive grits under different conditions. The obtained results indicate that type of the work piece due to the introduction of SiC particle into the matrix alloy exerted the greatest effect on abrasive wear, followed by applied load. The sliding distance was found to have a much lower effect. Moreover, the interactions of SiC reinforcement/applied load and SiC reinforcement/sliding distance had a moderate influence on the abrasive wear while interactions of reinforcement/abrasive size, applied load/abrasive size, applied load/sliding distance and abrasive size/sliding distance had no significant effect. (c) 2006 Published by Elsevier Ltd.