AbstractA new net-cationic polyacrylamide dry strength agent was synthesized through free radical polymerization using acrylamide (AM), itaconic acid (IA), N,N-dimethylacrylamide (F), and sodium methallyl sulfonate (T). Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid was used as a chelating agent; dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate methyl chloride (DMC) solution was used as a cationic monomer, and ammonium persulfate (APS) was used as an initiator. Orthogonal design and single-factor experiments were utilized to study the effect of many factors, such as reaction time, the ratio of monomers, and the dosage of APS and DMC on the cationic polyacrylamide. The synthesized products were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), particle charge detector (PCD), and zeta potential analysis. The results showed that the optimum conditions were as follows: optimal monomer proportion: m(AM):m(IA):m(T):m(F) = 23.79:2.39:0.21:0.32; w (DMC) = 28%; w (APS) = 1.0%, reaction time was 3 hours, reaction temperature was 93 °C, stirring speed was 130 rpm, and reaction pH value was 3.0. The solid content of the polymer was 21.2%. By adding the cationic polyacrylamide to old corrugated container pulp, the tensile index increased by 29.7% and the burst index increased by 66.1%, displaying the obvious enhancement of the paper.