TiC-Al2O3 particles were fabricated in situ by contact reaction（CR） in an Al–Ti2O–C system. The reaction behavior and formation path of Al2O3, TiC were investigated. Results show that the reaction temperature for the CR is higher than that for the directly sintering due to different thermal conductibility of mediums. The typical layered reaction products were observed. A proposed core–shell model explained the structure formation for the CR composites. Al3Ti and Al4C3 were suggested transition phases during the contact reaction process.