A commercial a-alumina powder was mixed with Zr(OH)4 gel synthesized by a precipitation method. The mixture was calcined at 600°C for 2h. The Al2O3−15 wt% ZrO2 composites were sintered for 2 h in the temperature range between 1400°C and 1650°C in air. At the sintering temperature of 1550°C the highest density, the best wear resistance, the maximum bending strength of 708 MPa and the highest fracture toughness of 5.8 MPa×m1/2 were achieved, respectively. Improvement of the mechanical and wear properties of the Al2O3 matrix should mainly be attributed to the addition of ZrO2.