Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Karen Martirosyan

Second Advisor

Dr. Ahmed Touhami

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Kline


Coral Reef ecosystems have degraded over years due to a variety of environmental issues such as ocean acidification. The continuous stress has detrimental effects on coral reef ecosystems that can possibly lead to the loss of the ecosystem. Our research aims to construct a prototype of an artificial reef by consolidating dredge sand from the ship channels of South Texas. Consolidation is achieved through an aluminum polytetrafluoroethylene self-propagating high temperature process that yields a solid formation to mimic the physical properties of coral reef structures. Using thermodynamic calculations, the variation of initial components was determined that reached an adiabatic temperature with a maximum peak of 2000 K. The self-sustaining reaction front was obtained to rigidly consolidate the dredge sand only at composition concentrations exceeding a critical value of 24 wt.% Al, and 3 wt.% PTFE. The combustion synthesis produced a consolidated formation with a hardened and porous structure.


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