We have reinforced alpha-Ti with different contents of TiC particles using the in situ technique and conventional casting. Compositional and microstructural characterization of the TiC/Ti composite material was made by XRD and SEMEDS. Tensile tests at RT, 723 and 973 K have been performed on samples heat treated at 1000 K for 30 min which were prepared from cold rolled material. The effect of the content, size and morphology of the TiC particles on the tensile properties has been investigated. The results indicate that the expected improvement in the mechanical characteristics of TiC/Ti composites is inhibited by the detrimental presence of coarse dendritic particles of TiC. The premature failure of these composites at RT is due to cracking of the coarse TiC particles. Local softening due to inhomogeneous plastic deformation of the Ti matrix appears to contribute to the tensile failure of the TiC/Ti composites deformed at 723 and 973 K. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.