Purpose. To group microcrystalline celluloses (MCCs) using a combination of artificial neural network (ANN) and data clustering. Methods. Radial basis function (RBF) network was used to model the torque measurements of the various MCCs. Output from the RBF network was used to group the MCCs using a data clustering technique known as discrete incremental clustering (DIC). Rheological or torque profiles of various MCCs at different combinations of mixing time and water:MCC ratios were obtained using mixer torque rheometry (MTR). Correlation analysis was performed on the derived torque parameter Torquemax and physical properties of the MCCs. Results. Depending on the leniency of the predefined threshold parameters, the 11 MCCs can be assigned into 2 or 3 groups. Grouping results were also able to identify bulk and tapped densities as major factors governing water-MCC interaction. MCCs differed in their water retentive capacities whereby the denser Avicel PH 301 and PH 302 were more sensitive to the added water. Conclusions. An objective grouping of MCCs can be achieved with a combination of ANN and DIC. This aids in the preliminary assessment of new or unknown MCCs. Key properties that control the performance of MCCs in their interactions with water can be discovered.
- Artificial neural network
- Discrete incremental clustering
- Microcrystalline cellulose
- Mixer torque rheometry