Andrew J. Gayle and Robert F. Cook from National Institute of Standards and Technology have been awarded the JMR Paper of the Year 2016 for their article “Mapping viscoelastic and plastic properties of polymers and polymer-nanotube composites using instrumented indentation” (Published August 14, 2016 – Journal of Materials Reasearch volume 31, issue 15).

Gayle and Cook have won for the development and modeling of an indentation method for mapping the time-dependent viscoelastic and time-independent plastic properties of polymeric-based materials.

They have expanded the technique of indentation to include an important material behavior previously inaccessible to robotic fingertips, namely viscoelasticity. This new technique could help researchers predict how up and coming super materials, such as carbon nanotubes polymer composites, behave leading to the design of stronger and safer materials.

The JMR Paper of the Year Award recognizes excellence in advancing materials knowledge through written scholarship. Free access to this article is available in perpetuity at

The following video, based on Gayle and Cook’s award-winning paper, highlights using instrumented indentation to map elastic properties of polymer nanotubes.

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