A material definition starts with a *MATERIAL key card followed by material specific cards such as *ELASTIC, *EXPANSION, *DENSITY, *HYPERELASTIC, *HYPERFOAM, *DEFORMATION PLASTICITY, *PLASTIC, *CREEP or *USER MATERIAL. To assign a material to an element, the *SOLID SECTION card is used. An element can consist of one material only. Each element in the structure must have a material assigned. Some types of loading require specific material properties: gravity loading requires the density of the material, temperature loading requires the thermal expansion coefficient. A material property can also be required by the type of analysis: a frequency analysis requires the material's density.

Some of the material cards are mutually exclusive, while others are interdependent. Exactly one of the following is required: *ELASTIC, *HYPERELASTIC, *HYPERFOAM, *DEFORMATION PLASTICITY and *USER MATERIAL. The keyword *PLASTIC must be preceded by *ELASTIC(,TYPE=ISO). The same applies to the *CREEP card. A *PLASTIC card in between the *ELASTIC and *CREEP card defines a viscoplastic material. The other keywords can be used according to your needs.