Time is used as a tracking parameter in all static and transient analyses, whether or not the analysis is truly time-dependent. The advantage of this is that you can use one consistent "counter" or "tracker" in all cases, eliminating the need for analysis-dependent terminology. Moreover, time always increases monotonically, and most things in nature happen over a period of time, however brief the period may be.
Obviously, in a transient analysis time represents actual, chronological time in seconds, minutes, or hours. In a static analysis, however, time simply becomes a counter that identifies steps and substeps. By default, the program automatically assigns time = 1.0 at the end of step 1, time = 2.0 at the end of step 2, and so on. Any substeps within a step will be assigned the appropriate, linearly interpolated time value. By assigning your own time values in such analyses, you can establish your own tracking parameter. For example, if a load of 100 units is to be applied incrementally over one step, you can specify time at the end of that step to be 100, so that the load and time values are synchronous.
Refer also to the Mechanical Users Guide for expanded discussion of Step and Step Controls...https://ansysproducthelpqa.win.ansys.com/account/secured?returnurl=/Views/Secured/corp/v211/en/wb_sim/ds_Steps_Substeps_Eq.html