Abstract In this study we report on the frictional and wear properties of sintered metallic (MMC) brake linings in combination with a C/C–SiC brake disc. The influence of additives, such as graphite, and abrasives in the metallic matrix on the formation of the friction layer was investigated using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). The formation of a friction layer on the pad's worn surface consisting mostly of iron and copper oxides was confirmed. The frictional properties of the sintered metallic brake pads were determined and related to the composition and structure of the friction layer. This investigation of the friction characteristics of a brake couple comprising (MMC) brake linings and a C/C–SiC composite disc will increase the understanding of this material, which from the tribological point of view works in a completely different way than a classical disc brake based on gray cast-iron.