Vibration properties of most assembled mechanical systems depend on frictional damping in joints. The nonlinear transfer behavior of the frictional interfaces often provides the dominant damping mechanism in a built-up structure and plays an important role in the vibratory response of the structure. For improving the performance of systems, many studies have been carried out to predict, measure, and/or enhance the energy dissipation of friction. This article reviews approaches for describing the nonlinear transfer behavior of bolted joint connections. It gives an overview of modeling issues. The models include classical and practical engineering models. Constitutive and phenomenological friction models describing the nonlinear transfer behavior of joints are discussed. The models deal with the inherent nonlinearity of contact forces (eg, Hertzian contact), and the nonlinear relationship between friction and relative velocity in the friction interface. The research activities in this area are a combination of theoretical, numerical, and experimental investigations. Various solution techniques commonly applied to friction-damped systems are presented and discussed. Recent applications are outlined with regard to the use of joints as semi-active damping devices for vibration control. Several application areas for friction damped systems due to mechanical joints and connections like shells and beams with friction boundaries are presented. This review article includes 134 references.