The microstructures of structural metals and alloys are highly heterogeneous due to their crystalline structure often coupled with multiple phases and inclusions, yet most contact mechanics models assume the material is homogeneous and usually isotropic. This is a severe limitation if one desires to quantify the influence of different microstructure attributes on the mechanical behavior. This limitation is overcome through the finite element method using crystal plasticity models. Examples of normal, sliding, and fretting contacts are presented.

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