The L12-structured intermetallic compound Zr3Al can be rendered amorphous easily by several techniques. In the present study the structural evolution during high pressure torsion (HPT) was investigated systematically by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) methods. Zr3Al samples were deformed at room temperature to different grades of deformation up to shear strains of 140 000%. TEM investigations revealed that the tendency to grain fragmentation, disordering and the formation of a nanocrystalline structure is weak compared to other L12 ordered alloys like Ni3Al. In addition, an amorphous phase has not been encountered. The present results differ strongly from previous ones obtained from ball-milled materials. Possible reasons for the different behavior are discussed on the basis of the temperature dependent dissociation scheme of the superlattice dislocations gliding in Zr3Al.