In most industrial microwave processing operations, the frequency of the microwave energy launched into the waveguide or cavity containing the sample is fixed. This brings with it inherent heating uniformity problems. This paper describes a new technique for microwave processing, known as variable frequency microwave (VFM) processing, which alleviates the problems brought about by fixed frequency microwave processing. In VFM processing, microwave energy over a range of frequencies is transmitted into the cavity in a short time, e.g. 20 s. It is therefore necessary to determine the best frequency range for processing a material. The best range frequency for microwave processing of five different thermoplastic matrix composites using the VFM facilities has been determined. The optimum frequency band for microwave processing of these five materials was in the range 8–12 GHz. This data enables bonding of the materials using microwave energy under the most favourable conditions.