In numerical simulations of the blast furnace, the discrete element method (DEM) is a quite novel method. The accuracy of physical parameters of the method is a key issue for the reliability of the results. In this study, we first measured the parameters describing the interaction between pellets, sinter and coke, as well as between these three materials and a steel plate. The experimentally determined parameters include the Young's modulus, Shear modulus and Poisson's ratio, particle density, coefficient of restitution, as well as coefficients of static and rolling friction. The coefficients of rolling friction of non-spherical particles were obtained by comparing the repose angle of bulk materials in experiment and simulation. After these calibration steps, the DEM parameters were validated by a comparison of free surfaces of the conical piles formed in simulations and experiments. The experimental and calculated results show good agreement, which demonstrates that the measured DEM parameters are of sufficient accuracy to be used in simulation of burden distribution and descent in the blast furnace.