Drainage curves (plots of the non-wetting fluid saturation versus applied pressure) for infiltration of SiC particle preforms with Al and Al-12.2 at.% Si are measured at 1023 K (750 degrees C) with a pressure infiltration apparatus adapted for direct tracking of the metal ingress into the porous preform. From these curves the work of immersion is estimated by integration over the whole range of saturation and pressures from 0.1 MPa to 10MPa, which in turn is used to deduce the metal contact angle on the ceramic. Drainage curves obtained for powder beds based on monomodal SiC particles of mean diameter from 6.5 mu m to 40 mu m yield values for the work of immersion and contact angles that are consistent among themselves and are in good agreement with data in the literature determined by the sessile drop method. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.