High-solids, low-viscosity, stable polyacrylamide (PAM) aqueous dispersions were prepared by dispersion polymerization of acrylamide in aqueous solution of ammonium sulfate (AS) using poly (sodium acrylic acid) (PAANa) as the stabilizer, ammonium persulfate (APS) or 2,2′-Azobis (N,N′-dimethyleneisobutyramidine) dihydrochloride (VA-044) as the initiator. The molecular weight of the formed PAM, ranged from 710, 000 g/mol to 4,330,000 g/mol, was controlled by the addition of sodium formate as a conventional chain-transfer agent. The progress of a typical AM dispersion polymerization was monitored with aqueous size exclusion chromatography. The influences of the AS concentration, the poly(sodium acrylic acid) concentration, the initiator type and concentration, the chain-transfer agent concentration and temperature on the monomer conversion, the dispersion viscosity, the PAM molecular weight and distribution, the particle size and morphology were systematically investigated. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009
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