Prediction and optimization of epoxy adhesive strength from a small dataset through active learning

MDR Open Deposited

Machine learning is emerging as a powerful tool for the discovery of novel high-performance functional materials. However, experimental datasets in the polymer-science field are typically limited and they are expensive to build. Their size (< 100 samples) limits the development of chemical intuition from experimentalists, as it constrains the use of machine-learning algo- rithms for extracting relevant information. We tackle this issue to predict and optimize adhesive materials by combining laboratory experimental design, an active learning pipeline and Bayesian optimization. We start from an initial dataset of 32 adhesive samples that were prepared from various molecular-weight bisphenol A-based epoxy resins and polyetheramine curing agents, mixing ratios and curing temperatures, and our data-driven method allows us to propose an optimal preparation of an adhesive material with a very high adhesive joint strength measured at 35.8 ± 1.1 MPa after three active learning cycles (five proposed prepara- tions per cycle). A Gradient boosting machine learning model was used for the successive prediction of the adhesive joint strength in the active learning pipeline, and the model achieved a respectable accuracy with a coefficient of determination, root mean square error and mean absolute error of 0.85, 4.0 MPa and 3.0 MPa, respectively. This study demonstrates the important impact of active learning to accelerate the design and development of tailored highly functional materials from very small datasets.

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Date published
  • 21/10/2019
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  • 21/10/2019
Last modified
  • 13/01/2021
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