Neural Network Models for Free Radical Polymerization of Methyl Methacrylate

Silvia Curteanu1, Florin Leon2 and Dan Gâlea2

1Department of Chemical Engineering

2Department of Automatic Control and Computer Engineering

Technical University “Gh. Asachi”, Iaşi, B-dul D. Mangeron No. 71A, 6600 Iaşi, Romania


In this paper, a neural network modeling of the batch bulk methyl methacrylate polymerization is performed. To obtain conversion, number and weight average molecular weights, three neural networks were built. Each was a multilayer perceptron with one or two hidden layers. The choice of network topology, i.e. the number of hidden layers and the number of neurons in these layers, was based on achieving a compromise between precision and complexity. Thus, it was intended to have an error as small as possible at the end of back-propagation training phases, while using a network with reduced complexity. The performances of the networks were evaluated by comparing network predictions with training data, validation data (which were not uses for training), and with the results of a mechanistic model. The accurate predictions of neural networks for monomer conversion, number average molecular weight and weight average molecular weight proves that this modeling methodology gives a good representation and generalization of the batch bulk methyl methacrylate polymerization.