The properties of plasma sprayed Y-Ba-Cu-O coatings deposited on metallic substrates are studied. Stainless steel, nickel steels and pure nickel are used as substrate. Y-Ba-Cu-O deposited on stainless steel and nickel steel reacts with the substrate. This interaction can be suppressed by using an yttria-stabilized zirconia (YsZ) diffusion barrier. However, after heat treatment the Y-Ba-Cu-O layers on YsZ show cracks perpendicular to the surface. As a result the critical current density is very low. The best results are obtained for Y-Ba-Cu-O deposited on pure nickel; here no cracks perpendicular to the surface are observed. The critical current increases with the anneal temperature but annealing for longer than 10 h does not seem to improve the superconducting properties any further.