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Water Pressure Load Condition
SOLIDWORKS Simulation is capable of simulating a nonuniform pressure gradient. This allows for a
simulation setup on a model that would approximate the pressure of water on the inside of a tank
or against a dike.

Nonuniform Pressure Requirements
A nonuniform pressure has the following requirements:

A “Reference Coordinate System”
Faces on which to apply the pressure load
An equation by which to define the pressure as a function of coordinate variables

Each of these will need some fine tuning to approximate a pressure load due to water as follows:

The “Reference Coordinate System” placed at a location on the surface of the water/liquid
with one of the coordinate directions (X, Y, or Z) in the direction normal to the water/liquid
The faces to apply the pressure load must be only those faces where the water/liquid
touch. Faces partially submerged would need to be split into multiple faces using a “Split
Line” command
The equation for water/liquid pressure used would for static pressure depending on depth:

Pstatic fluid = ρgh
…where P = pressure, ρ = fluid density, g = acceleration of gravity, and “h” will be replaced
with the direction variable of the “Reference Coordinate System” set normal to the surface
of the water

Example Study Setup
In this example the situation being studied is a potential design for a bi-material dike system
where water pressure will be placed on the steep face of the dike with no counter pressure placed
on the shallow back face of the dike. In this example the waterline is set to be part the way up the
dike face; a “Split Line” is generated to create this waterline. A cross sectional piece of the dike is
displayed in Figure 1.

888.688.3234 | GOENGINEER.COM

COM . Figure 2: Cut faces of the model section with “Symmetry” fixtures defined. A “Reference Coordinate System” (seen in Figure 3) is placed at the intended waterline of the model in order to simplify the equation (no offset constant) that will then define the pressure condition applied in the model and allow the coordinate system to move with the waterline.3234 | GOENGINEER. Figure 1: Section of a bi-material dike system. Figure 3: Location of “Reference Coordinate System” on model.688. in order to allow the sectional model to behave as a large full model might. In this setup the underside of the model is immobilized with a “Fixed” fixture condition and all the cut faces used to create the section of the model are applied with “Symmetry” fixtures. as seen in Figure 2. 888.

Figure 4: Nonuniform pressure definition .The pressure condition defined can be made to be dependent on cartesian. g = 9. cylindrical. or spherical 3 variable coordinate systems where all 3 variables can control the pressure distribution.COM .81 m/s2. The selected faces of the pressure load are the selected to be the submerged faces shown in Figure 5 888. In the case of this dike a cartisian coordinates system set with the equation Pstatic fluid = ρgh where ρ = 1000 kg/m3 .3234 | GOENGINEER. and h becomes the variable “y” in the pressure load definition based on the Reference Coordinate System “Coordinate System1”.688.

Figure 5: Selected faces for the nonuniform pressure load condition. With these fixture conditions and the nonuniform pressure condition set the model is ready to run and may show a displacement profile such as Figure 6.COM . 888.3234 | GOENGINEER.688. Figure 6: Displacement plot generated from non uniform pressure distribution.