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Acetabular cup The acetabular cup is the component which is placed into the acetabulum (hip socket). Cartilage and bone are removed from the acetabulum and the acetabular cup is attached using friction or cement. Some acetabular cups are one piece, while others are modular. One-piece (monobloc) shells are either UHMWPE or metal, they have their articular surface machined on the inside surface of the cup and do not rely on a locking mechanism to hold a liner in place.
Metal heads, made of cobalt chromium for hardness, are machined to size and then polished to reduce wear of the socket liner. Ceramic heads are more smooth than polished metal heads, have a lower coefficient of friction than a cobalt chrome head, and in theory will wear down the socket liner more slowly.