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Microwave assisted rapid sintering was carried out to fabricate aluminum-ZrB 2 metal matrix composites containing 1 wt% cobalt and 10, 15 and 20 wt% ZrB 2 as the reinforcements at temperatures of 600, 700 and 800°C. The results showed that the highest values of density and bending strength (97% of theoretical density and 240 MPa, respectively) were obtained in a composite containing 15 wt% ZrB 2 and 1 wt% Co sintered at 600°C. Furthermore, the optimum values of compressive strength and hardnessdoi:10.1590/1980-5373-mr-2015-0799 fatcat:plx7qm6j7revlevektrwj7xt44