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Materials and Reliability in Oil Sands (MARIOS)


In 2009, Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures (AITF), launched a new industry-directed consortium, Materials and Reliability in Oil Sands (MARIOS), to tackle industry-wide maintenance and reliability issues.

The goal of MARIOS is to develop knowledge and validate technologies to significantly reduce downtime, and improve operational reliability and productivity in the oil sands industry.

The consortium links oil sands producers, materials and equipment suppliers, fabricators, and technology providers to collaboratively solve industry-wide problems.

Program Structure

MARIOS is grouped into two strategic areas:

  • Mining and Extraction (MARIOS-M) – focused on oil sands mining, extraction, and upgrading operations
  • Thermal Recovery (MARIOS-T) – focused on oil sands thermal recovery or in-situ operations

Both MARIOS-M and MARIOS-T are guided by an industrial Program Steering Committee (PSC) comprised of oil sands
producers. Materials and equipment suppliers, fabricators, applicators, and engineering firms provide manufacturing and fabrication expertise at the project level. AITF manages the research activities and overall program management.

Current Program Focus

Wear Resistant Overlays
Evaluate the abrasive wear, impact, and corrosion resistance of tungsten carbide metal matrix composite (WC-MMC) overlays for mining and extraction applications.

Compare existing oil sands end user welding specifications and develop streamlined industry-wide welding practices. Evaluate high-productivity wire-feed welding processes and automation/mechanization technologies for adoption.

Slurry Pipeline Systems
Evaluate the effect of process conditions on the wear performance of materials for slurry transport applications through concurrent trials in field-scale pipelines and the Pilot-Scale Slurry Flow Loop.

Corrosion in In-Situ Operations
Assess materials performance for thermal recovery processes, including brackish and recycled water environments, stress-corrosion cracking, and integrity management.