This paper presents an experimental research aimed at developing a new rubber-based seismic isolator called 'Ball Rubber Bearing (BRB)'. The BRB is composed of a conventional steel-reinforced multi-layered rubber bearing with its central hole filled with small diameter steel balls that are used to provide energy dissipation capacity through friction. A large set of BRBs with different geometrical and material properties are manufactured and tested under reversed cyclic horizontal loading at different vertical compressive load levels. Extensive test results indicate that steel balls do not only increase the energy dissipation capacity of the elastomeric bearing (EB), but also increase its horizontal and vertical stiffness. It is also observed that the energy dissipation capacity of a BRB does not degrade as the number of loading cycles increases. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.