The work discussed in this communication forms part of a much larger study aimed at the mathematical and experimental simulation of direct reduction processes occurring in shaft furnaces of the Midrex, HyL III, Purofer, and Nippon Steel Corporation types. In these processes, iron oxide burdens are subjected to environments in which both the temperature and gas compositions change continuously. Previous work1 showed that reduction under such non-isothermal conditions caused iron oxide pellets initially to swell by up to 10 pct and then shrink to give overall pellet contractions of up to 15 pct by the latter stages of reduction. Microstructural examination indicated that the pellet contractions were due to sintering of the porous, high surface-area iron formed in the initial stages of reduction. The sintering reaction is advantageous in that it tends to increase the strength of the metallized pellets;2 however, the accompanying structural changes can also impede the diffusion of reacting gases into and out of the pellets and thus retard the reaction rates.