Aluminum alloy based metal matrix composites are widely used in aerospace, military and automotive industry. The aluminium grades used in present research work are Aluminium alloy 6061, Aluminium alloy 2024, LM6. In this research, composites with Aluminum alloy as matrix with 6 weight % of nano alumina as reinforcement were fabricated using two processing technique namely, powder metallurgy technique (cold pressing and microwave sintering), and by squeeze casting technique. Thus fabricated samples were used to study the effect of processing technique on mechanical properties and wear aspects of the composite. Scanning electron microscope data and mechanical property characteristics reveals the presence of nano alumina particles and their uniform distribution in case of powder metallurgy processed samples. Mechanical and wear properties achieved on the fabricated samples were compared with the existing aerospace brake pad material. The data related to wear characteristics correlated with the number of landings for the existing brake pad material is considered as the bench mark data and the feasibility of replacing it with the developed composites were studied. © 2019 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.