Fe82Nb6B12 alloy was synthesized from the elemental powders by a planetary high-energy ball mill, at room temperature, using different milling times and different surfactants. The products were measured by X-ray diffraction, magnetic thermogravimetry, vibrating sample magnetometer, and Mössbauer spectroscopy. Amorphization was observed from the X-ray diffraction on a sample ball milled for about 220 h using 595 rpm and cyclohexane as surfactant. Nevertheless, using the same conditions without surfactant, only the bcc Fe was found. The results are compared with data for rapidly quenched materials. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.