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An experimental investigation of hot shock compaction of a nanocrystalline alumina powder was performed. The effects of variations in shock pressure and compaction temperature on the properties of the compacted materials were studied. It was found that the bulk density and hardness of the compacted material increased with shock pressure. Increasing compaction temperature resulted in increases in compact hardness and bonding, and reductions in cracking within the compacted specimens. The results suggest that dense, well bonded, crack free nanocrystalline ceramics may be fabricated more effectively using hot shock compaction, than by room temperature shock compaction followed by sintering or room temperature static compaction followed by sintering.