Blends of natural rubber (NR) and butadiene rubber (BR) have been studied with or without diblock copolymers of isoprene–butadiene (BIR). It was found that NR/BR blends displayed the optimal properties at about 4 wt % of BIR from the tensile measurements of NR/BR blends. Increase of molecular weight of BIR resulted in the decrease of tensile properties, but had no significant effect on their hardness. Abrasion resistance of rubber blends containing BIR was about 30% higher than that without BIR. The molecular weight of BIR did not show a remarkable effect on the abrasion index. Differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic mechanical analyses of rubber blends suggested a two-phase structure even in the presence of BIR. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.