In this study, an elastic-plastic thermal stress analysis is carried out on steel fiber-reinforced aluminum metal-matrix composite beams. Temperature is chosen to vary linearly. It is zero and To at the upper and lower surfaces, respectively. The beam is fixed by two rigid planes at the ends. The solution is performed at 0 degrees, 30 degrees 45 degrees, 60 degrees and 90 degrees orientation angles. The plastic region is expanded at the lower side of the beam. It is found that the intensity of the residual stress component of sigma (x) and the equivalent plastic strain are maximum at lower surface of the beam. The residual stress is found to be greatest for the 0 degrees orientation angle. In addition, the intensity of the equivalent plastic strain is the greatest for the same angle. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.