I am simulating two separate loading scenarios on a tapered, circular cross section beam.
1. Uniformly distributed loading
2. Linearly distributed loading
First question: When I apply a force and specify a magnitude, is that the total force applied to the selected surface? I.e. if I specify 40 N, and the beam is 1m in length, that is equivalent to a uniformly distributed load of 40N/m?
Second question: Is the only way to apply a non-uniform distributed loading to specify the body as a beam? When I have specified it as just a solid body (not a beam), I input an equation in the nonuniform distribution section and it appears the inputted equation is F(x,y,z), which is not really a distributed loading, but instead a variable force. It seems that I want an equation to be in terms of Force/ Length. I've been playing with this, and it has been confusing me.
The definitive answer is - it depends - on how and where you apply what type of loads.
Short answer is - check your resultant forces back to your constraint(s). Forces in X&Y must equal zero for linear static analysis to be valid.
You can choose to apply a force to a surface (or an edge, etc.) and if you select multiples you will see the option to pick 'per item' or 'total'. If you only have one item selected it will always be 'total'.