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The paper presents the results of a combined experimental and analytical study of transformation toughening in NiAl composites reinforced with 20 vol. % of 2 mole % yttria stabilized zirconia particles. The extent of stress-induced phase transformation is characterized using laser Raman spectroscopy techniques. The overall toughening increment due to stress-induced transformation is also predicted using micromechanics models that account for the role of dilatation only, or the combined effects of dilatation and shear.