The temperature, time and cooling rate are key factors in the hardening process using the grinding heat instead of the high frequency induction heat source. Thus, this paper established the mathematical model estimating the grind-hardening temperature, experimentally determined the grinding temperature and the cooling rate of different grinding parameters for 48MnV microalloyed steel using the conventional aluminum grinding wheel on a surface grinder, and investigated the grind-hardening effects and the forming mechanism of grind-hardening layer. The results show that the estimating temperatures are comparatively close to the measuring ones and hence the model could be utilized to optimize the processing parameters, and the satisfactory grind-hardening temperature and cooling rate could be achieved under the optimized processing parameters. The microstructure of the grind-hardening layer, the fine needlelike martensite in the entirely hardened zone, the martensite and ferrite in the transitional region is similar to that acquired through the high frequency induction technique. Especially, the average hardness of the entirely hardened zone is 740HV and the depth of the hardened layer is adjacent to 1.5mm, which indicate that the grind-hardening effects are very excellent. Different from the forming mechanism of the high frequency induction hardened layer, higher grind-hardening temperature is needed to compensate shorter time austenitization, and because of thermo-mechanical loading induced during grinding, from surface to inside, the morphology of martensite changes from fine to thicker, then to finer, other than from thick to finer.