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Floating and Hosted Loads in Sumo

Sumo has two different categories of loads that can be used – Floating Loads and Hosted Loads.

Each of the two categories contains similar loading options (Point Load, Line Load, and Area Loads). An explanation of the two categories is listed below to show the differences.  

Floating Loads:

Floating Loads are placed manually and are not linked to any element. When a Floating Load has been defined, the load can be moved, copied, or adjusted like any other element. These loads are considered independent of the elements they are applied to. Figure 1 shows a Floating Area Load applied to a slab, after the slab’s geometry changed, the area load was unchanged.

Figure 1: Floating load staying unchanged after slab geometry has been changed.

Hosted Loads:

Hosted Loads are anchored to the structural element on which it is placed. The load can’t be moved from its host. Since a Hosted Load is anchored to a structural element, it also changes as the host element is changed. Figure 2 shows a rectangular slab with a Hosted Slab load. When the geometry of the slab is changed, the Hosted Slab Load adjusts automatically.

Figure 2: Hosted slab load automatically adjusting to slab host geometry.

Each category of loads is useful for different conditions. Applying a UDL to the entire slab is a good example of where a Hosted Slab Load can be used. A Floating Area Load would be more suited if only certain parts of the same slab must be loaded, e.g., pattern loading or checkerboard loading. Hosted Loads can be applied to Walls, Slabs, and beams. A Floating Area Load must be used if a plane shell is to be loaded.