Generally projection welding electrodes are large flat surfaces. Sometimes holes are incorporated for locators (nut welding). In crosswire welding the lower electrode may be a single long bar of copper alloy or refractory material spanning many welds. The electrode delivers force and amperage through a relatively large surface area into the part being welded. Secondarily they provide cooling of the part.
The part by design concentrates the current and force to create heat and forging at a concentrated location. Projection welding electrode life is long when compared to spot welding electrodes. The wear is frequently mechanical abrasion. RWMA Class 2 is the first choice for electrode material in projection welding. If mechanical wear and tear is a little heavy and Class 2 has to be faced too often, try RWMA Class 3. It is mechanically harder and more resistive to wear than Class 2. If there is a lot of heat and excessive wear turn to RWMA Class 11, refractory metal electrodes may be the best choice. Nut welding sometimes is a heat generator and the Class 11 refractory electrodes are successfully used. Electrically Insulated locator pins are employed when needed.
Reference: AWS C1.1 Recommended Practices for Resistance Welding
AWS J1.3 Specification for Materials Used In Resistance Welding Electrodes and Tooling
AWS J1.2 Guide to Installation and Maintenance of Resistance Welding Machines