The technique of explosive consolidation was used to prepare cermets of boron carbide with aluminium and 7075 aluminium alloy. Compacts were produced by application of 10-12 GPa pressure which was induced by explosive detonation. The compacts obtained exhibit high hardness-increasing with an increase in the boron-carbide content, integrity and close to theorical density. Hardness, fracture toughness and flexural strengths of the composites produced indicate extensive shock hardening of the metal (or alloy) matrix during consolidation. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Limited and Techna S.r.l.