The high-temperature wettability of alumina particulate preforms by copper is investigated by means of infiltration experiments conducted at 1473 K under low oxygen partial pressure. Wetting is quantified in terms of drainage curves, which plot the volume fraction of metal in the porous medium vs. the applied pressure. Mercury porosimetry is also used on similar preforms for comparison. The effect of volume fraction, particle geometry and capillary parameters on the drainage curve are studied and compared with the expression proposed by Brooks and Corey. The influence of the particle volume fraction and capillary parameters characterizing wetting in the two systems is discussed to derive an effective contact angle for wetting of alumina particles by molten copper. (C) 2005 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.