A fabrication process for a tungsten heavy alloy with matrix pools was suggested in order to increase the susceptibility to localized shear deformation. A partial mechanical alloying process was introduced to form matrix pools intentionally within a tungsten heavy alloy. The partially mechanically alloyed powders were sintered by solid-state sintering, followed by liquid-phase sintering. The volume fraction of matrix pools was decreased with an increase in the secondary liquid-phase sintering time. Penetration test showed that the matrix pools were effective in enhancing the triggering of localized shear deformation. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.