In a nonlinear static analysis, the time series associated with lateral loads is typically linear:
In this case, the load factor, , associated with the time series is equal to the pseudo-time in the domain, i.e., . Then, when you use the
'-time' option in the node and element recorders, you get the load factor “for free”, i.e., without any additional effort.
However, the load factor is not always equal to the pseudo-time in a static analysis. For example, a little-used option lets you supply a factor to the linear time series:
In this case, the load factor is . In other words, for every pseudo-time step of 1.0, the load factor will increase by 0.8 (or whatever factor you give).
There are other time series, e.g., Trig, Pulse, and Path, where the pseudo-time and load factor are not equal. But using a factor with the Linear time series was the most notable counter-example that came to mind.