Can we estimate the coefficient of friction between two objects/materials?

I remember reading that it was impossible to theoretically estimate the coefficient of friction between materials even if their structure was known. The book where I've read this was The Feynman Lectures on Physics, volume I, in the chapter where he speaks about the force of friction.

But this book was written some time ago, and Physics changes with time.

My question is: given two materials whose structures (and compositions) are known, is there a way to estimate the coefficient of friction (static or kinetic) between them without having to do experiments? Perhaps computers could somehow do this.

• Clean metals in vacuum will stick together and form a cold weld. That is what one could calculate. In air, everything is covered by a layer of crud - all kinds of molecules.
– user137289
Nov 25 '18 at 22:18