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TR.32.3.2 Element Load Specification - Solids

The following types of loads can be assigned on the individual faces of solid elements:

  • A uniform pressure

  • A volumetric type of pressure on a face where the intensity at one node of the face can be different from that at another node on the same face.

    An example of such a load is the weight of water on the sloping face of a dam. If the dam is modeled using solids, for the individual elements, the water height at the lower elevation nodes will be larger than those at the higher elevation nodes.

General Format

The syntax is as follows.

elem-list FACE i1 PRESSURE { GX | GYGZ } f1 f2 f3 f4


  • f1 f2 f3 f4 = Pressure values at the joints for each 3 or 4 joint face defined. Only f1 needs to be specified for uniform pressure. In any case the pressure is provided over the entire face.    
  • i1= one of six face numbers to receive the pressure for the solids selected. See the figure in G.5.2 Solid Elements for the following face definitions. Enter a pressure on all 4 joints even if the face is collapsed to 3 points.   


The first option above loads the solid by specifying one or more of the 6 faces to receive pressure.

The PRESSURE may be provided either in GLOBAL (GX, GY, GZ) directions or in local Z direction (normal to the element). If the GLOBAL direction is omitted, the applied loading is assumed to be normal to the face and a positive pressure is into the solid. The loads are proportional to the area, not the projected area.

Face Number Surface Joints
f1 f2 f3 f4
1 front Jt 1 Jt 4 Jt 3 Jt 2
2 bottom Jt 1 Jt 2 Jt 6 Jt 5
3 left Jt 1 Jt 5 Jt 8 Jt 4
4 top Jt 4 Jt 8 Jt 7 Jt 3
5 right Jt 2 Jt 3 Jt 7 Jt 6
6 back Jt 5 Jt 6 Jt 7 Jt 8


11 12 FACE 3 PR 2.5 1.5 2.5 5.5