SiC-reinforced aluminum matrix composites were manufactured by powder metallurgy using either single or dual particle sized SiC powders and samples sintered under argon atmosphere. Quasi-static loading, low-speed impact tests and hardness tests were used to investigate mechanical behavior and found that dual particle size composites had improved hardness and impact performance compared to single particle size composites. Sample microstructure, particle distributions, plastic deformations and posttesting damages were examined by scanning electron microscopy and identified microstructure agglomerations in SPS composites. Impact traces were characterized by broken and missing SiC particles and plastically deformed composite areas. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.